Ours is a world of ecosystems, of single companies hoping to own and operate as many parts of your life as possible. And it looks more and more like there are only three real players: Apple, Google, and Samsung.

Apple's forever going to do Apple things, keeping its products premium and exclusive and tightly integrated with each other. Samsung and Google, on the other hand, are increasingly competing to offer the alternative open platform. Each wants to own the foundation that everyone builds on; the hub on which we all place our spokes.

Just this week, Samsung spent $200 million to acquire SmartThings, one of the many companies competing to be the foundational platform for the smart home. That puts it head-to-head with Google one more time: Google just bought Nest to do the exact same thing. And the tension between the Android Google wants to ship and the Android that comes on Galaxy phones got so heated that Google sold off Motorola in order to bring Samsung back in line. This is a relationship with power issues.

So who’s going to win? Turns out that’s an argument that’s hard to settle.