29
Aug
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When news broke earlier this month that Google had agreed to buy Motorola Mobility, many members of the tech community immediately began wondering just what would come out of the deal. The Android manufacturers LG and Samsung lauded the decision, both proclaiming that they welcomed the acquisition and Google's commitment to defend Android's interests.

Evidently, however, the South Korean government has some concern about the purchase and has begun nudging Samsung and LG in an effort to bring them away from Android and toward a "coalition of other South Korean companies," intending to build a new mobile OS developed in South Korea.

The Deputy Commerce Minister was quoted as saying "In the long term, we cannot go on like this by solely relying on Google," indicating some fear that - should Google hop into the manufacturing arena - phones made by Motorola Mobility would be treated with more preference, leaving other manufacturers out to dry, as it were.

Given the lead Android holds in the global smart phone market (ahem- 53%) it is doubtful that the two South Korean manufacturers would readily abandon the platform in favor of a yet-to-materialize OS.

While rumblings earlier today that Samsung was considering buying webOS have been discredited, Android And Me was quick to point out that Samsung still has Bada OS, a potential candidate to replace Android in LG and Samsung's business, should the manufacturing giants choose to follow the government's advice.

It is very likely that in the coming months we will see whether the South Korean government's worries are founded, and what Samsung and LG plan to do about it, but for now everything is speculation and Samsung and LG appear to be in harmony with Android for a while to come.

From The Motley Fool

Via Android And Me

Liam Spradlin
Liam loves Android, design, user experience, and travel. He doesn't love ill-proportioned letter forms, advertisements made entirely of stock photography, and writing biographical snippets.

  • http://gthing.net sam

    Not gonna happen. It's hard enough for a company to make a decent OS, let alone some sort of inter-company government agency type thing. Android is already a success and if companies begin to be slighted by google to an extent that it hurts their business model they will find a new way to compete - you don't need government intervention to get that.

    • Telanis

      They can just fork Android. The beauty of open source.

      • Bruce

        Forking is an interesting idea, but what about app developers? Will Google's Market App run on the forked version? Is a a new SDK needed for the forked version?

      • Anton

        at what stage? Today? Tomorrow? Regardless, forking only make sense when you don't agree with the current direction. Look at Google, they didn't fork webkit. Instead, they contribute all the patches back to webkit. That's the beauty of opensource.

    • hldc1

      Very true. It's not like mobile OSs readily fall out of trees. I seem to remember a time when Symbian held a ridiculous percentage of the mobile market. Although most people equate Symbian with Nokia (and vice versa), there was a time when other manufacturers also used the OS (e.g., Sony Ericsson and Samsung). The last thing either Samsung or LG needs is the government telling them how to run their respective businesses. Then again, they (South Korea) have a lot of pride in being able to do things themselves. Samsung is the giant it is today because of the desire to have homegrown options, as well as to end dependence on Japanese-made products.

      A mobile OS though, is a different story. It's becoming increasingly harder to break into Android and Apple's stranglehold on the market. Maybe this Deputy Commerce Minister should talk to the guys at Microsoft and see how they're doing.

  • Draigons

    I know that Samsung has had problems with updates at least through T-Mobile, a lot of people have renamed them as Samsu** but I personally like the ability to make modifications, and So far Motorola has had their software locked. I have grown to rely on Samsung to provide a wonderful and OPEN handset, they have up to this date. Let's hope that Google keeps the openness of their software, so we can have more powerhouse Samsung phones!

  • David Ruddock

    The South Korean government has taken a hugely suspicious view of Google as a company in the last year, particularly regarding data collection and unfair trade practices. There's clearly beef here.

    They seem to be of the belief that continuing to do business with Google will result in the people and businesses of South Korea being extorted and taken advantage of, and would instead prefer they be "self-sufficient."

    The comment about Samsung and LG relying on Google is absurd, that minister has little to no idea what he's talking about. Both of those companies, massive corporations in their own right with far more money in capital goods than Google will ever hope to have, produce massive amounts of products without any assistance from Google whatsoever. Smartphones are just a small part of their overall business.

    It's just an attempt at trade protectionism, and a very foolish one at that. Such a move would annihilate Samsung's global smartphone market share for years.

    The South Korean government needs to get over whatever problems it has with Google and suck it up - globalization is a fact of life, and Google is doing more to help these companies' profits than any encouragement from some close-minded and ill-informed politician ever could.

    • Mike Snyder

      Well said! I agree wholeheartedly.

    • L boogie

      Well said David, such a move would put a hurting on both firms considering Samsung is enjoying its continuing ascendance in the mobile game thanks to android and lg is rapidly moving in that direction as well. There's nothing wrong with starting up something new but not at the expense of the hand that feeds you.

    • SparklingCyaNide

      I also agree, very impressed with your thoughts and point of view.

    • Zomby2D

      Very good post and right on the spot. And if you look at Samsung, they are not putting all their eggs in the same basket and are still developing their in-house mobile OS (Bada) while also producing Android and WP7 phones. I think they know enough about keeping a diverse portfolio and being able to bounce back if one of the options would fail them.

  • Jim

    Is that the South or North Korean gov?

    • Marco

      South. I think Samsung headquarters is in Seoul, but the way that guy thinks definitely makes him sound like North Korean :-)

  • http://obscureoldgames.com Gareth

    Yeah, because that worked out really well for Samsung already with Bada.

  • Bruce

    "It is very likely that in the coming months..."

    It is not very likely that Samsung or any of the other Android manufacturers will tip their hands during this calendar year. They need to sell, sell, sell during this holiday season to make money.

    The main thing they have to sell is Android. It's way too late to change that now. Any negative comments about Google or Android now will just cut into their holiday sales and their profits.

    Once the holiday buying season is over and the money is raked in, then they can announce that they are backing away from Android, if that is what they intend to do.

  • RockingmyEvo3D

    Samsung and Lg definately aren't going anywhere anytime they have to know by now what side there bread is buttered on.

  • Roger

    I'll have to admit, if Google put out their own version of a tablet, I'm getting it just on the basis of timely upgrades to the OS without reliance on a manufacturers OS who,for whatever reason, decides to drag their heels or not upgrade at all.

  • Manoj

    I truly doubt the authenticity of this report. How could a government suggest or dictate a business strategy?

  • Stacy

    Argh - I live in South Korea and I've been thoroughly enjoying my Samsung Galaxy S II for months.. It's too early to get worked up over this possibility, but at the same time it doesn't surprise me. Korea is a leader in technology and yet everyone here insists on running Internet Explorer 6.0..

  • Appu

    Not gOnna happen, bada os apps are for babies still in nappies, so is the os

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