The Stupid Samsung Forking Argument
For the past year or so, I've seen a lot of talk here on whether Samsung would FORK Android or break away from Google and I really really don't understand it. The problem with all this is that it just sounds sooo incredibly naive (no offense) and just doesn't make any practical sense. Here are the reasons why I feel that way:
1) Samsung isn't Amazon. The biggest and loudest reason I hear in favor of Samsung forking is that because Amazon did it, they should to. (I'm guessing that also means if Amazon jumps off a bridge, so should Samsung!!!)
The problem with that is Samsung and Amazon are two entirely different companies who do entirely different things and have entirely different revenue streams. Samsung makes its money through hardware and the relatively high margins that's their flagships bring.
Amazon loses money on hardware (or makes very little) in an attempt to sell content and only content. I don't think Samsung wants to do that (especially since they don't sell content....or not well anyways). When their primary goal is making money of hardware, it makes no sense to give reasons not to buy it. And removing Google's services is a pretty good reason to not buy a product. (just ask microsoft....or even Apple for a limited time with Maps)
BTW, does anyone know if Amazon is profitable yet?
2) Samsung doesn't compete with Google. Aside from Motorola, Google is a services company and Samsung most definitely isn't. Samsung doesn't have a search engine, email service, mapping service, or really any substantial services of any kind. Most of the crap they peddle on the Galaxy products are mostly rebranded services from other companies. (S-Voice is Vlingo for example). Right now both companies have an incredible symbiotic relationship and there is nothing on the horizon that suggests that could change. (Can you imagine what Samsung maps would look like?)
3) Samsung does whatever it needs to. The other argument I've heard is that Samsung wants more control over Android. But why? The already do whatever they want to. When it comes to features, they have every single gimmick imaginable. There is nothing stopping Samsung from "Innovating."
They litter their phones with content stores, app stores, and other stuff no one ever uses. Google isn't stopping them (or any other OEM) from doing anything. As long as they meet some basic technical guidelines, Google couldn't care less.
4) Samsung can't just switch over their users to another OS. The worst and least intelligent argument I've heard is that eventually Samsung would just switch over everyone to Tizen, Bada, or whatever to have some sort of iOS like lock-in. The problem with that line of thinking is that a new OS would have only zero apps. That might be a just a little bit of a problem.
5) Samsung doesn't have a choice. That's what it comes down to really. They are stuck with Google, whether they like them or not. Even if Motorola becomes a thorn in Samsung's side, they aren't in a position to say or do anything. They need Android more than Google needs Samsung.
If Samsung stopped making Android phones, then HTC, Sony, or Motorola would take over. It wouldn't be ideal for Google obviously, but if this did become a war, who would win? Samsung's only real asset is an incredibly efficient plastic making machine!
They need Android and more importantly, they need the Google services that smartphone users cling to. Unless you're expecting radical and game changing services from Samsung (anyone?), Samsung will never ever FORK Android.