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Why Samsung is the Mitt Romney of the Android world

April 13, 2014

Far be it from me to wade into the murky depths of the ongoing Apple versus Samsung saga since it’s a topic that usually makes my eyes roll into the back of my head. But I came across a story on Apple Insider (of all places) that irritated me enough to write about it here. It seems that Samsung has been plotting for quite a while to dump Android in favor of its own mobile operating system.

Samsung has already employed Tizen as the mobile OS in a watch project, and has demonstrated phones running Tizen as a functional alternative to Android.

With its smartphones running Tizen, Samsung wouldn’t have to share its ecosystem with HTC, making it easier to compete against it and other former comrades formerly affiliated under Google’s Android banner.

If Samsung can successfully replace Android with its own Tizen as its executives have since publicly outlined as a goal, it would leave Google tied to a series of hardware partners that are collectively losing lots of money.

More at Apple Insider

The Sleaziness of Samsung

Samsung has long plotted to dump Android for Tizen.

Image credit: Apple Insider

Sleazy Samsung and used car salesman Mitt Romney
Samsung has always come across as a bit of a sleazy company to me. Something about the company has always just rubbed me the wrong way. Whenever I see a Samsung ad or read a story about them I feel like I’ve been slimed. It’s a feeling akin to dealing with a used car salesman or an insurance salesman, you just know that they are full of crap and you feel dirty after dealing with them.

You could even call Samsung the Mitt Romney of Android manufacturers. I lived in Massachusetts when Romney was governor so I knew what a grinning sleazebag he was, and despite that I held my nose and voted for the trouser snake back in 2012 simply because I felt he was slightly less bad when it comes to the economy than four more years of Dear Leader Obama (next time remind me to vote third party…a pox on both their houses…ugh!). But I felt dirty after I cast that vote, and that’s how Samsung makes me feel: dirty.

Samsung: The Mitt Romney of Android Manufacturers

Samsung is the Mitt Romney of Android device manufacturers.

Samsung’s scheme to use Android and then dump it later
In this case we can clearly see that Android was always just a means to an end for Samsung, it was never their preferred platform. They jumped on the Android bandwagon to ride it for as long as they could, all the while plotting to dump it and replace it at some point with their own operating system so they would not have to share profits with Google or other Android manufacturers.

I know that some folks will argue that Samsung doesn’t owe Google or Android users anything, and that they have a right to run their business anyway they want, including using a different mobile operating system. Fair enough, I can see that side of the argument. Samsung isn’t a charity, it’s a business and they have to go where the profits are if they want to succeed over the long haul.

But scheming to dump Android may come back to haunt Samsung in the end as some consumers who really like Android and consider it to be their preferred platform may take pause before buying a Samsung phone or tablet. Why buy an Android-based product from a company that you know ultimately wants to dump Android altogether? You could spend a lot of money only to wake up one day and find that Samsung no longer supports Android, and that you’ll need to buy a Tizen-based device if you want to continue using Samsung’s mobile products.

Samsung’s troubled history of problematic behavior
This isn’t the first time that Samsung has oozed its way into trouble. Remember back when Google warned Samsung not to keep copying Apple? Samsung didn’t listen and simply continued to do what it had already been doing anyway. Nobody can say that Google didn’t at least try to rein Samsung in, but let’s face it folks, Google has no direct control over Samsung. Samsung does whatever it wants and thus its now in court fighting Apple to the bitter end.

And let’s not forget the allegations that Samsung paid people to bash its rival HTC. When I first read about that silliness, the wise words of Darth Vader ran through my head: They are as clumsy as they are stupid. Seriously, what was Samsung thinking by engaging in such juvenile marketing antics? What did they hope to accomplish? It’s just that sort of stuff that gives Samsung its aura of used car salesman sleaziness.

As if that’s not enough to damage Samsung’s brand and credibility, there were recent revelations that the company had deceived investors about sales of its Galaxy Tab device. Clumsy and stupid indeed! Did Samsung actually think that nobody would find about such a deception? It makes me wonder what is going on inside the company that it seems to utterly lack any kind of a moral compass.

For the time being Samsung still seems to be making plenty of money off Android, but I can’t help but wonder if it’s days as an Android company are numbered. Samsung may have thought that they’d be the ones dumping Android, but I wonder now if it will be Android users who start dumping Samsung instead. I can’t say I’d blame them if they do.

What’s your take on this? Tell me in the comments below.


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26 Responses to Why Samsung is the Mitt Romney of the Android world

  1. Paulee L Willette on April 15, 2014 at 1:05 pm

    This article is repulsive. You have NO clue about Mitt Romney. He has given more to charity and the poor than anyone in public office. He has done much for his county with NO compensation. This man prays on his knees daily. Uninformed and totally misrepresented here. Be ashamed…You with a nasty evil mouth and mind….God knows hearts…and minds….And we that have followed Mitt Romney and family know truth. A man who garnered 61+ million votes in ’12…You must really fear this good man. Pitiful article. Oh, and by the way…Many love Samsung…..Get a life….

  2. John Smith on April 15, 2014 at 7:37 am

    Just how old are you?
    Even a juvenile detention center dwelling teenager would have more class than someone claiming to understand what he is talking about and then going out of his way to photoshop Romney to make him look bad.

    Let me guess, you voted for the clown in the white house that borrowed 6 trillion, and who vacations on tax payer’s dime, holding fundraisers at 40,000 per ticket while lecturing Americans on “income equality” and other nonsene that were the direct result of his failed policies.

    Yep, seems like it. He relies on useful idiots like you to advance his agenda.
    Next time, before you call someone who is known to donate to charity without even writing that off his taxes “sleazy”, look in the mirror.

    Now go suck up to Apple and Obama.

  3. Tuxworx on April 15, 2014 at 1:39 am

    First, Google tried to “rein” in Samsung, not to “reign” them in.

    Second, I’m no fan of Mitt Romney and when I read in an RSS summary of your post that you were comparing him to a used car salesman I thought it could be mildly amusing. When you called him a sleazebag I was shocked. But labelling Obama – or for that matter Tricky Dick Nixon or Tricky Dick Cheney – with the title of a sleazy communist dictator is just too much for any sane American to stomach.

    • Jim Lynch on April 15, 2014 at 2:20 am

      Thanks for catching that wording mistake, fixed.

  4. Matt in VA on April 15, 2014 at 1:01 am

    I love open source, and hate it when politics is thrown in. But, since it has come up, here it goes.

    “You can pretend to care, you can’t pretend to show up.” Mitt Romney showed up in many small acts of service well out of the spotlight, rolling back his sleeves and getting his hands dirty. While Biden (a 1 percenter) talks about taking care of people but never donates his own money, Romney gives to charity without all the talk. You may or may not like Romney’s policies, but Romney is probably the most qualified candidate to run for president since Ike in the 50′s, and is a first-rate individual in his personal life.

    I would like to keep politics out of open source. It should be the best technical solution, period. But I hardly think it fair to attack someone who’s been out of the political game for awhile. (P. S. I’ve voted for 3rd party candidates whenever available, but I did make an exception for Romney)

  5. Aleve Sicofante on April 14, 2014 at 11:16 pm

    What a load of clueless crap. Just let me check Eye on Linux as “no read”. Bye.

  6. MichaelAdeBose on April 14, 2014 at 7:53 pm

    Apparently you’ve forgotten Eric Schmidt being on Apple’s board. There are only two possible points of view on this. Either Eric Schmidt got on Apple’s board knowing full well they would eventually be competitors or he got on Apple’s board and got some really great ideas while there (the general perspective). Background: http://www.forbes.com/sites/robenderle/2011/11/11/you-the-jury-is-googles-schmidt-guilty-or-innocent-of-stealing-from-apple/

    I wouldn’t call either scenario sleazy, but Samsung’s actions pale vastly in comparison.

    Google copies from everyone and often purchases great companies, just to pluck the team, ultimately dead-ending the product which ruins the ecosystem for the users who enjoyed the product(Dodgeball, Jaiku) or in the instance of GoogleVoice locking the users in to Google’s product, while degrading the feature set. Worse still they offer services for free that don’t compete with their core business, just to force out the competition (fonts come to mind). Fonts for instance are fairly expensive, but was there any real need for Google to offer free fonts? Sure it was helpful for those who didn’t want to pay for fonts, but it also has affected the price of fonts as well. The question then becomes it Google isn’t going to compete for real in a space, should it really wade into that space.

    Google has engaged a lot of carnage in the dev community as far as I’m concerned because their actions skew the landscape. Jaiku for instance could do images and audio if I recall, long before Twitter ever could. Also, if Google never intended to match Google Voice’s feature set in their own product, their purchase of GV was disingenuous at worse, and halfhearted at best.

    These are all just corporations doing what corporations do. Samsung may not be a favorite among many but as a user of services often killed off by Google’s actions I don’t mind them at all.

  7. Joe A. on April 14, 2014 at 6:12 pm

    Jim, I’m sorry, but a really don’t get the comparison. First, I don’t see why Samsung would be compared to being a “sleazy” company. Really? These guys make more Android form factors than anyone out there. As for their doing things their own way with Android – its quite simple – they don’t want to be dictated to by Google. Look at all the pain the hardware manufacturers went through with Microsoft when they brought out Vista. A lot of silicon was re-spun because of all of the engineering requirements that MS wanted in Vista – particularly the DRM requirements to be built into the audio and video hardware. It was insanity. Now, Samsung has just recently signed the newest agreement with Google where Samsung agreed to not do their own spin to Android. It’s Google that’s acting slimeball here – with all of the extra terms and conditions Google is imposing on the hardware manufacturers. Samsung is taking a long term view, and hedging their bets. I hope they continue with Tizen as when it comes to the hardware manufacturers, they are the only manufacturer with the clout to keep Google honest. As for Samsung copying Apple…you mean copying rounded corners? Now, if you want to talk about a company acting slimeball – let’s talk Apple. Like they way they purposely cripple Apple TV so I can’t stream stuff over Bluetooth or the network using industry standard DNLA, but I have to use Apple’s proprietary protocol – Airplay. They act like the DRM police when you need to move multimedia purchased pre-iTunes from phone back to computer. They charge a premium for all of their stuff, but their support is substandard. What’s sleazy is when Apple reps say their computers are the easiest to use – yet their stores are full of people asking HOWTO questions, and David Pogue made big money writing the Missing Manual series for Apple products. Sounds like a company that only cares about the 1% – themselves.

  8. Jordan Lyman on April 14, 2014 at 6:04 pm

    How true! MY first flat screen TV was Samsung – and I won’t be buying another Samsung TV (or any other Samsung product, at that) any time soon. The device works fine, but those Samsung assholes have a policy whereby you’ll do as they tell you to do, and they’ll change the rules any time they want; if that screws you, live with it. Samsung, your products are fine, your heavy-handed take-or-leave-it polices are despicable.

  9. Bongzino on April 14, 2014 at 5:35 pm

    I hate how samsung messes up android :-(

    worse purchase I’ve ever made … tab 7.7 … I should have bought a nexus 7 …

  10. Statler Waldorf on April 14, 2014 at 2:13 pm

    Did not read. Your political bullshit is offensive and completely unnecessary.

    • Jim Lynch on April 14, 2014 at 2:43 pm

      What exactly offended you? My criticism of Romney? Or the term “dear leader” for Obama? I believe I included enough to offend both sides equally. ;)

      • Scott on April 14, 2014 at 11:43 pm

        It certainly has nothing to do with what you claim this post is about. At least, you fail to make a convincing case for making the comparison. Nowhere in there do I see an answer to the question: Why is Samsung the Mitt Romney of the Android world? You talk a lot about how you feel slimed by them without giving anything specific as to why. What, exactly, are you so upset about? Is it something about how they have treated you in the past, or does it have something to do with Android? You seem like a Samsung hater on one hand and like an Android fanboy on the other, all mixed with a large dose of non-requiter political bullshit and equally irrelevant Star Wars trivia.

  11. Alex on April 14, 2014 at 1:12 pm

    I don’t understand why this is such a big deal – there’s been news articles floating around for at least a year or more indicating Samsung’s involvement with Tizen. Considering how much money they make, I wouldn’t expect them to completely eliminate Android – I’d expect them to start introducing Tizen phones, and if they want to get away from Android, do it slowly as Tizen gains traction. Otherwise, Samsung would probably become the next Nokia. Doesn’t matter to me, I like my Android based Motorola phone. People like Android, and if Samsung won’t supply them, someone else will.

  12. James R. Phillips on April 14, 2014 at 11:41 am

    I thought that the open source software movement was about open source, not about politics, or insulting people. Why do you think that everyone who reads your blog agrees with your politics? Do you live in some kind of bubble where you imagine there is no one who disagrees with your political judgements? Clearly a lot of people voted for Mr. Romney, and no doubt many of them are interested in Linux. That would certainly describe me.

    If you want to attract and keep readers you’ll keep the focus on software and freedom, not on politics.

  13. Chuck Forbes on April 14, 2014 at 11:30 am

    I’m not sure what the fuss is about. I’ve tried out a Tizen phone once OSCON. It was fast and responsive. Tizen is open source, probably more so than Android, though I’m not sure. If Samsung totally dumps Android (which I doubt they’d do) go to the phone store and try out a Tizen phone. If you still like Android better, punish Samsung by not buying their Tizen phone. They owe you nothing and you owe them nothing as well. Least of all your loyalty.

  14. Carl on April 14, 2014 at 11:27 am

    People don’t buy a brand, they buy an ecosystem and THEN the brand. Look at the name Nokia had going for themselves. They were too late in offering a smartphone with an ecosystem (read: Android) and they’re still paying the price. As soon as Samsung leaves Android, they’ll pay it with a fair loss of market share. And besides, as other people have commented, competition is fierce. The days of flagship smartphones are over, so phone makers need to come up with something good or else people start looking elsewhere. I recently bought a Chinese phone (Xiaomi redmi) for 130 euros, and it hangs out with the best of them. So Samsung cannot assume that exiting customers are returning customers. People appreciate value for money, period.

  15. mvh on April 14, 2014 at 6:04 am

    Regardles, find it funny that you care less about your country (and vote Romney) than you do about your Smartphone. Also, looking back, Obama is/was the best president the USA had in ages (not just in terms of intelectual capacit and integrity, but resualts. Considering the sabuteurs from the right, making impossible fot the left to fully carry out any policy they had).

  16. Brian Masinick on April 14, 2014 at 3:22 am

    I’ve been using the underdog Motorola throughout the “Droid” craze and I’ve been happy with them. I have heard less than complementary things about Samsung product longevity. My only Droid product limitation has been battery life; other than that, they’re great, and my latest MOTO X has excellent battery charging longevity. Can’t say that what Samsung does troubles me in the least as long as I have other alternatives available. So far, I still have HTC, LG, Motorola, Sony, and Asus as alternatives with various Android product lines; have not gone to Samsung yet, and I’m unlikely to do so.

    Can’t say any of this troubles me as long as I continue to have as many alternatives available to me as I do (even including Tizen, the future possibility of Firefox OS, as well as continued Android use, and other prospects. So while I’ve used Android, there’s nothing keeping me there either if they end up bothering me, and that’s why choices are great, both free and non-free, open and proprietary, as well as a mix of both.

  17. Arup on April 14, 2014 at 12:50 am

    No fear there HTC needs to get their act up like SONY has done in recent times, the later has come out with some phenomenal phones in mid and high end and then we have Chinese hardware giants GIONEE and Oppo making their presence felt with some quality value phones. Samsung’s ride is but over, their Galaxy S5 is an ordinary release and pales in front of SONY’s Z2 and HTC’s M8 and GIONEE’s E7.

  18. satipera on April 13, 2014 at 7:54 pm

    Why would anyone listen to you after you voted for Mit Romney?

    • Jim Lynch on April 13, 2014 at 8:04 pm

      I guess I deserve that, I should have seen it coming. Heh. ;)

    • Dev Mazumdar on April 14, 2014 at 5:10 pm

      Why would you bad-mouth president Obama as our Dear Leader and blather on about communism/socialism and then start using Free Software that is governed by the GPL.

      • Jim Lynch on April 14, 2014 at 5:13 pm

        Thanks, Dev. I’ve apparently been able to offend both sides since the Obama and Romney loyalists have weighed in with messages today.

        I don’t remember mentioning communism or socialism in the article. I gave a negative take on both Obama and Romney, and I don’t think I’m alone in thinking that they are both stinkers.

      • Jim Lynch on April 14, 2014 at 5:34 pm

        Okay, nevermind. I get why you mentioned socialism/communism now. The use of the term “dear leader” was in reference to the strange personality cult that has surrounded Obama since he first ran for president. It wasn’t aimed at his politics, which are actually quite corporatist if you are familiar with his record and the amount of money given to him by Goldman Sachs and other corporate entities.

        • Scott on April 15, 2014 at 12:00 am

          Is this blog about Linux, or American politics? You only seem interested in the comments that reference your political comments. If it is politics you care more about, you should shutter this blog and focus on that… Ahhh… just had a look at your namesake blog. You’re an Apple guy. Plonk!

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