Last year Samsung shipped a little more than 215 million smartphones. Of that number, the overwhelming majority were running Android. Just for comparison, Apple shipped just shy of 137 million. This means Samsung is holding a 39.6 percent stake in the global smartphone market and Apple is holding a 25.1 percent stake. They key here, while this is good for Apple as they are the only manufacturer offering an iOS device, Samsung makes up just one piece of the Android puzzle.
With a quick thought, some may think that Samsung having such great success would be good news for Google, and Android in general. That however, may not be the case. In fact, according to a recent Wall Street Journal report, Samsung may be causing Google to worry. The report notes that “inside Google, concerns about Samsung are discussed openly.” Given Samsung has such as high percentage of the Android market at the moment, they could try and renegotiate their arrangement with Google.
One of the potential items here is if Samsung were to try and renegotiate for an additional share of the revenue. It was said that “Samsung in the past has received more than 10% of such revenue.” This side could be bad news for Google, however the success of Samsung could also lead to bad news for other manufacturers working with Android. You see, Samsung could eventually decide to negotiate for other perks.
Rajeev Chand, a managing director at boutique investment bank Rutberg & Co. believes that Samsung could try and get “better versions of Android software before other manufacturers.” This is where the Motorola acquisition could come into play. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the acquisition of Motorola Mobility could serve as a “kind of insurance policy against a manufacturer such as Samsung gaining too much power over Android.” Of course, at the moment Google hasn’t said anything publicly that would suggest they are trying to push Samsung out the door. Still, this does give an interesting take on how the success of one (Samsung) may not always mean success for everyone (Google and Android).