At an investor conference today, Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam discussed Samsung's potential to break away from Android and develop a "strong third mobile platform," CNET reports. McAdam reportedly said that "there's a potential elephant in the room with Samsung," and that the company's position as a "massive conglomerate" could afford it the resources to compete with Android and iOS — a claim buoyed by Samsung's demonstrable success in the smartphone market. Of course, Samsung already tried to create its own mobile OS like Android and failed: it folded its Bada OS into the Intel-backed Tizen open source OS project, and left it to die.

As CNET reports, McAdam refers to Samsung as a "potential dark horse" in the mobile space, and that its patent defeat by the hands of Apple could convince the company to stray from Android. But Samsung's dominance in the overall smartphone space, let alone the Android market, doesn't guarantee it success even if it does choose to produce its own mobile operating system (again). On the other hand, while once-mighty mobile giants like RIM and Microsoft are already fighting for third place, both companies have struggled with delays — so third place could be a low-hanging fruit for a competent contender.