Samsung has easily commanded the market share that Google’s Android flourishes in, but it’s just a matter of time until Android could be an afterthought of the Korean company. Power is all Samsung has derived from the Galaxy S line of smartphones thanks to an array of features, including TouchWiz built atop Google's Android. And the launch of Samsung’s Galaxy S IV is exciting for all parties involved. Sales will ensue. At least for right now, Google and Samsung have a myopic relationship - when Samsung wins, Google gets more devices in the wild spreading their services. Like a flower in Spring, Android is pollinating the mobile market, and using Samsung as the breeze for delivery. 

But which direction is the wind coming from? In other words, Google and Samsung might be working harmoniously for the time being, but it's not out of the ordinary to question which company has more influence over Android's future.

So, what happens if Google questions Samsung's stance? Has Android been diluted to simply mean Samsung, or even worse, TouchWizImagine Google’s driverless car going awry, and that's what Android would be like without Samsung

If you’re Samsung, you’re thankful you have an operating system to build your skin TouchWiz upon. Your end product is completely optimized to take full advantage of the Android source code. To top it off, you get to add minute “features” atop TouchWiz (that user interface some people call Android). You’re quite literally backed by a google of developers to update your plethora of devices, which is why you update your devices as frequently as you do. You've got the support of the largest open source mobile operating system in the mobile market, and thanks to them, you're chipping away at your number one hardware competitor - the Apple iPhone. Life is good, and extremely biased, towards Google...if you’re Samsung.

And if you’re Google, almost your entire Android success story is inked in Korean characters. Why bother translating, when there are so many zero’s after that dollar sign? No matter the consensus or reception of the next galactic offering, Google will continue to deliver their services to millions of users courtesy of Samsung’s Galaxy S IV, and the rest of the Galaxy line. Sales have become an afterthought to Samsung, much like Apple knows the iPhone will sell. Naturally, Google and Samsung were meant to be the antithesis to whatever Apple’s iPhone offers, but who controls the offensive? There is an indisputable amount of brand loyalty tied with Samsung’s Galaxy brand which makes Samsung the best distributor of Android powered devices, right? 

They’re two peas in a pod. Spaghetti and meatballs. Peaches and cream. Lemons and pancakes. Chopsticks and rice. The two have the globe covered in their prowess. 

Some would say that Google’s acquisition of Motorola’s Mobility sector will help the Mountain View company leverage their resources by controlling the distributor. We’ve seen a recent Motorola-Google device leak, and the influence Google has had since the acquisition is clear. The problem is, Google isn’t just restarting the old dog in Motorola; they’re restarting themselves, too. Motorola is not the name of the game, and while I don’t doubt that they can turn Motorola into a competitor, Google’s own Nexus brand is further than an afterthought - it’s completely forgotten when Samsung's devices are in town.

What Google has done with Android, primarily because of Samsung, is astounding. Google has developed Android into the silver platter of their services, all the while pitching the necessity of connectivity, user experience, and control. It’s clear that Google is riding on the quality in delivery of its services with Android, which can primarily be attributed to Samsung’s smartphones.

HTC, LG, and Motorola have also played a hand in Google's goal of getting more Android devices into the wild, but it has only been in vain. The general consensus surrounding Samsing is that no one can catch them on two battlegrounds: brand recognition and sales. Only one other device has managed to gather this much momentum with a brand and product, and that is the iPhone. What shortly followed was an avalanche of activity surrounding what was next for the Cupertino company, and when it would be released. If Google wants to drive the Android offensive, they'll need more fire power than the current crop of Nexus devices. How much longer can the people of Mountain View watch as the dog wags the tail on it’s own accord? From what, can Google confidently suggest that their plan in the mobile space is derived from, other than Samsung’s success? 

Samsung has the market cornered with Android, and Google hangs in the balance. Google has managed to concoct its own premium brand with Google Nexus devices, but to say they have struggled with sales would be understated. Google has seen minute success from its line of Nexus devices due to aggressive pricing and developer support. We’ve watched as the Nexus 4, Nexus 7, and Nexus 10, each made by a different manufacturer, seldom sold. You could pinpoint it down to a lack of distribution and poor management of Google’s Play Store, or even point the finger at suppliers (I’m looking at you, LG). Yet, it doesn’t matter what the real reason was. They’re not making enough ground required to obtain the brand awareness and brand loyalty that Samsung has amassed with the Galaxy S line of devices. It's threatening to Google's own Nexus brand. It's threatening to other manufacturers like Apple, HTC, and LG. And the worst part about it is that it's about to get much, much harder for anyone to gain attention with the announcement of the Galaxy S IV. The Galaxy S series has become the face of Android, and the antithesis to iOS.

While sales of Nexus devices have struggled to make a dent in the mobile and tablet marketplaces, Samsung has completely walked away with the Android trophy and the Galaxy line. 

The Samsung Galaxy S IV will be Google’s best chance to secure domination of the mobile operating system market for the indefinite future. Analysts predict sales figures of 10 million in the first month - impressive, to say the least. And Google will just sit back and watch as its search services and app portfolio rake in forecasted revenues to the detriment of their own Nexus brand. Hakuna matata.

What do you think the ascendancy of Samsung means for Google? Does Google have any control of the success of Android, or does it all ride with the next best thing from Samsung? As always, your comments are appreciated. 

Images via it168 and Tinh te.

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38 Reactions to this post

"Who has more control of Android's future: Google, or Samsung?"

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BG Michael Samsung copied Q -TRANSLATOR &DUAL VIDEO by LG Optimus G Pro and L9.
Robert Farias I would say google , I believe the OS makes the device. If you don't agree look at the new Samsung that is running the windows 8 platform. It hash the same build ad the galaxy line but windows 8 OS and is not very popular.
Cesario Brito Jr. They both benefit from each other. But to say Google is nothing without Samsung is mind blowing stupid.
Camar Green Can't have one without the other.
Mark Belkowski is this a serious question?
Jaime Espinoza Did you people forget how android was born? from google+htc+T-Mobile... Samsung Is Popular because of Google. Google owns Motorola Mobile and as Result Motorola is making their phones with Vanilla ish ui's ...so with out google Samsung would had to launch their own OS even sooner than they did.
Devin Martinez Google would fall behind a lot if Samsung ever started using there own OS
Murtaza Rzv samsung is brain of android
Ruben Torres Google is the heart of Android.
Alex Diaz I think both. Samsung needs Android to continue being successful. I don't think they can be ass successful with Tizen or WIndows, but Google needs Samsung because no other OEM has came close to gaining mindshare like the galaxy line. Not even their very own Nexus brand.
Lanh Nguyen Samsung made garbage phones before android so they need Google more than Google needs them.
Brandon Johnson Without google providing updates what can samsung do with android? They're already at google's mercy, if it wasn't for them samsung wouldn't even be in the position they are, just because they've become google's biggest android pusher, doesn't mean they can continue without them.
Jason Angeles samsung is just a small asset for what google truly have. if samsung stopped making android, they still wouldnt be dead. they make one of the best led tv's and other major products around.. but have to admit, the galaxy line is there most likely main revenue/profit in the market.. and with htc one just released.. Thats the new competitor for the ip5 and the upcoming ip5s.. samsung needs to step it up and give up the plastic look! i have an iphone 5 and its more built with quality than the note2/s3 and durability..
Rich Field Google. What a dumb question. They have an insane amount of assets and a ton of platforms to earn money from. They definitely don't need Samsung to do anything for them to be successful.
Huey Liggins Google doesn't need anyone. But I'd say android needs Samsung. Why? Look at how Samsung and apple is going head to head with each other. The g1 gave android some shine but that phone had so many issues and android had so many bugs. Then HTC evo 4G damn there made android until apple dropped the next iphone. But then there was the s2. It got everyone's attention. But then the true iphone killer came in. The S3.j believe Samsung could prosper on their own if they created an os that we wanted. Knowing Samsung they'd probably mimicking apples ios. We don't need another one of those
Syedul Islam Google is sky net they don't need anyone :P
Joernie Berrios AOSP ftw!!
Larry Ayonn Samsung spends an awful lot on marketing their phones, and to most people, Smasung= Android phones. I really wished TouchWiz started being less and less present, or at least actually looked better (New Sense).
Joshua Rodriguez I'm a huge fan of both, but to say Samsung would be nothing without Google is pretty ignorant. Samsung has their hands in everything and that includes mobile devices prior to Android. Obviously they have blown up recently with the help of Android and Google but the same could be said the other way around. Basically they rely on each other for the great success they've recently had but they both can live without each other as they have before.
Javier Delgado samsung needs google...samsung sheeps are starting to get too much air in their head...without google none a company would be near apple..
Yan Zhenghao Samsung..
Lionel Quinny google is still going to be at the top of the game.. what if google stops all future updates to android.. and considering the very reasonably priced google nexus 4, samsung seems to be in a soup with their galaxy line up
Abram Wenevermet Dennis Samsung would be nothing without Google..
Enes Nadir Çomoglu Google needs Samsung? Please. It is the other way around. Google doesn't particularly need Samsung. Google needs manufacturers in general. Samsung isn't their only partner, ya know. Without Android, IMO Samsung would be nothing today.
Denver Garkie google has all the control over android, it is owned by google, though other companies use of it has no licencing fees(as of yet) it is google's call on what to do with android
Tan Chong Ling samsung!
Wasis Waskito Im using Nokia dude.
Dave Yaeck Right now, Samsung.
Shaun Lim really google needs to wake up
Teejay Crooks Google need Samsung as much as Samsung needs android
Kyle Cordiano Google. Key Lime Pie if its going to be another major overhaul like Jellybean was, will bring Google even higher. The only thing is how long will it take other devices to get the update.
Robert Chandler Forbes has an article that briefly touches on the S IV - but more on the future of Samsung and some BIG changes coming in 2014

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