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marc11

macrumors 68000
Mar 30, 2011
1,618
4
NY USA
IDK, this article assumes Google has no plan for Android long term and that they will just keep on keep on with the same old model. I do not feel this is the case. I am sure short term the idea was to use Android as a data gathering window by integrating Google services into the OS and that has worked IMHO. Google also has had recent success with selling its own devices ala the N7 and N4 tablets and phones. I think they will build on that and the Motorola acquisition may be a key part of it all.

Could Google license future versions of Android for a profit? Perhaps yes, would it net them money long term or force companies to develop their own OS? Perhaps, but as we have seen, the market wants an eco system, Samsung doesn't have one, Blackberry has a pathetic one and Microsoft, I have no idea.

Therefore, Google has been successful in integrating users into its ecosystem, building and expanding its ecosystem and developing its own devices. I only see Google building on those successes.
 
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Krimsonmyst

macrumors 6502
Dec 18, 2012
302
1
Interesting, but not totally correct (imo). Android has never been about profit for google, it's been said many times over that it's not nearly as profitable as what ios or even windows phone is.

Android is all about providing a hook into Google's web services, and it's very good at doing that. The revenue then comes from ads and the aforementioned services.

I doubt android will go under so long as people need a reliable mobile os and Web services.
 
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Essenar

macrumors 6502a
Oct 24, 2008
553
186
You walk into a room. Everyone in the room is used to eating meal A. Meal A offers the nutrition they want, the flavor they enjoy at a price they're willing to pay. The only problem is, Meal A is cooked, sold and distributed by only one chef: Chef A.

You want to sell meal B. Meal B offers just as much satisfaction as Meal A but you've got no Chefs. Without Chefs, who's gonna sell your Meal B? So you give away the ingredients for Meal B, for free to all the Chefs in the room. Not only that, but you constantly update Meal B to make it tastier, more nutritional and funner to cook.

Now, years later, over 50% of the room has now come to love Meal B. It's part of their daily diet. Some Chefs have made a respectable business for themselves cooking and selling Meal B.

Over 50% of the room can't survive without eating it.

And all the Chefs except Chef A can't survive without selling it.

Now you make it not free.
 
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b166er

macrumors 68020
Apr 17, 2010
2,062
18
Philly
Google definitely makes money off of android. Maybe it's not their most profitable venture, sure. But they make money off of it. Furthermore, Google can afford to have a money pit project if they so chose (which Android isn't).

Will Android be around forever? Probably not, but I don't think we've even begun to see what this platform will evolve in to. It's still a new game for Android and iOS. There are a lot of avenues either company could start exploring.
 
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TheMTtakeover

macrumors 6502
Aug 3, 2011
469
7
This is certainly an interesting article. I agree with some of the points, not all. I do think that google needs to have more power/control over android though.
 
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kevinof

macrumors 6502a
Jul 30, 2008
716
132
Dublin/London
I could see Google, in the future, rolling out services on Android but only to OEM's that signed up to a new "android charter". Much like the carrot instead of the stick - we'll provide all the back end eco system for free but you, the OEM, must adhere to a stricter "licensing" of Android to ensure consistency across products.

Possible?

This is certainly an interesting article. I agree with some of the points, not all. I do think that google needs to have more power/control over android though.
 
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MRU

Suspended
Aug 23, 2005
25,318
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A fairly interesting take on the current state of Android and how unsustainable it is for Google.

http://www.splatf.com/2013/03/android-rubin/

Thoughts?

Yeah it's an interesting perspective and its rare we actually think of 'what does google actually get out of this?'...

You can see his point, and the Motorola acquisition was always a big ponderance especially given the fact nothing seemed to change after their acquisition. Google has seemingly let the company carry on as if they hadn't been acquired.

If anything I would have thought Motorola would simply become Google's nexus line. No others would be privy to the first rights of software updates and support. And with googles control of the operating system and hardware from Motorola they would produce the best flagship & mid range handsets with lots of exclusive google-esque features that simply wouldn't be available on the Android version for other manufacturers. Yet this never happened...... If anything the article is right, it's Samsung that has done this and run away with it....
Samsung is now the undoubted king of android sales and packing a ton of applications which can replace googles own apps. The fact they are developing their own OS may not be a threat in the short term, but in the long term may indeed pose a problem.


Hypothesis only....

Imagine the scenario where for the next two years Samsung continue to grow and dominate the Androd space, making their Galaxy range synominus with their Touchwiz and a a whole slew of new S-apps all of which slowly supplant Googles own services leaving token email, chrome & calendar. Even the PlayStore has been given a rival and Samsung have encouraged users to use their playstore like hub ....

Now imagine they simply in a few years time swapped out google android OS and supplanted it with Tizen which is skinned to look exactly as Touchwiz so that the end user wouldn't know the difference superficially. They include all their S-Apps and can still support googles legacy gmail, chrome and calendar just like blackberry, windows phone and iOS can do...

Now we have a situation where the once leader of Android sales who has dominated the market for a number of years has walked away from google... Where if that did happen would that leave Google and Android then?


It's too easy to say but the leading people can't be supplanted because clearly they can. Remember the time Blackberry dominated and through years of letting other manufacturers come in and not do anything themselves they let themselves all behind....

The only difference here is Google does have Motorola and I hope that project X really is some form of exclusive OS feature set to that device - one that betters other Android OS's enough to make people re-consider Samsung's massive lead ....
 
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ijohn.8.80

macrumors 65816
Jul 7, 2012
1,246
2
Adelaide, Oztwaylya.
Samsung are already quite heavily working on their own OS (actually a continuation of Nokia and Motorolas work) "Tizen", I think they know what's to come from Google after they release the X phone later this year.
 
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mattopotamus

macrumors G5
Jun 12, 2012
13,950
4,514
Interesting, but not totally correct (imo). Android has never been about profit for google, it's been said many times over that it's not nearly as profitable as what ios or even windows phone is.

Android is all about providing a hook into Google's web services, and it's very good at doing that. The revenue then comes from ads and the aforementioned services.

I doubt android will go under so long as people need a reliable mobile os and Web services.

exactly. While android may not directly make them money, it encourages and makes things a lot easier if you are using google products (voice, mail, google+) which all generate traffic for google.
 
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maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
67,804
35,254
Boston
Does the article include all the revenue generated by the apps and ad revenue from apps as well?

I agree that google isn't making any direct money from android because its open sourced but they do require anyone to pay for the google apps that are typically included on phones. I know that doesn't even offset the R&D costs of Android but its money coming in.

I think its less about making Android profitable but rather building out a platform that produces money for Google which they're doing.

As for being unsustainable - Google has so much money that they can continue to fund android for the foreseeable future.

I'd rather question win8's sustainability given the lack of marketshare over Android which is very popular.
 
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chagla

macrumors 6502a
Mar 21, 2008
797
1,712
with worldwide 70%+ marketshare and US 50%+ marketshare, Android is not going anywhere anytime soon. the only way these numbers can go to apples favor is IF apple starts offering low, mid, high range model, different screen sizes and price.

so other than apple who/what will take Androids place? Blackberry? Microsoft? please...


the article reader has something against open-source. he sounds more like a corporations ceo. amusing. he's not aware of the market share. this whole android business model is quite different from apple business model.
 
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MRU

Suspended
Aug 23, 2005
25,318
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Other
with worldwide 70%+ marketshare and US 50%+ marketshare, Android is not going anywhere anytime soon. the only way these numbers can go to apples favor is IF apple starts offering low, mid, high range model, different screen sizes and price.

so other than apple who/what will take Androids place? Blackberry? Microsoft? please....

Did you read the article though ??? That's not what it was saying AT ALL.

What he was saying was where does Android go from here and how do google make Android more profitable to 'google' rather than allowing 3'rd party's likes of Samsung to almost become the brand leader, and the danger therein of putting androids future in the hands of a manufacturer who could at any stage 'ditch them'.....

If the S4 is as successful as S3, and sells the 100 million Samsung predict, and next year S5 sells even more - outpacing every other android using manufacturer by quite considerable margins - then the danger lies in Samsung having too much control / prominence in that marketplace, and should they turn around and say - "OK thanks to our success and marketing, no one is thinking this phone is android/google, they just want the new 'galaxy' phone, So were replacing Android with our own OS (calling it Galaxy OS) and offering people the exact same experience, same S-applications"...

so the end user experience isn't interrupted (it feels, looks & operates in exactly the same way, that they buy a samsung device for) but Samsung in one stroke are now free from Google's ties and can generate their own revenue streams from their own app market.

They will get developer support simply based on sheer marketshare numbers. If they have 60-70% of the android marketshare themselves alone and have sold 200-250 million units in the last couple of years - then no developer is going to turn their back on them. They will port their apps over without hesitation, especially if Samsung offer easy translation development tools to do so.

Then in one foul swoop with Samsung switching to its own OS, Google's OS marketshare would nosedive instantly putting them way behind.

That's the danger of allowing a third party manufacturer to become 'overly' successful - beyond all the others. It makes Google almost reliant on Samsung's success and if the switcharoo happened, they are screwed. That's why its hard to understand why Google hasn't gone massively into promoting Motorola since purchasing them, making them the 'champion' of android with the number 1 selling android handset.
 
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paulsalter

macrumors 68000
Aug 10, 2008
1,622
0
UK
"OK thanks to our success and marketing, no one is thinking this phone is android/google, they just want the new 'galaxy' phone, So were replacing Android with our own OS (calling it Galaxy OS) and offering people the exact same experience, same S-applications"...

so the end user experience isn't interrupted (it feels, looks & operates in exactly the same way, that they buy a samsung device for) but Samsung in one stroke are now free from Google's ties and can generate their own revenue streams from their own app market.

In principle I agree with what you are saying

Samsung phones do have there own look to them so perhaps many do not realise it is Android underneath

But one of the biggest complaints I see on here about moving phones is being tied into the eco system

I currently have a Samsung phone and all data is tied into Googles eco system, If I bought a new Samsung and didn't know they had moved to their own eco system, I would be very p'ed off
 
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MRU

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Aug 23, 2005
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In principle I agree with what you are saying

Samsung phones do have there own look to them so perhaps many do not realise it is Android underneath

But one of the biggest complaints I see on here about moving phones is being tied into the eco system

I currently have a Samsung phone and all data is tied into Googles eco system, If I bought a new Samsung and didn't know they had moved to their own eco system, I would be very p'ed off

I know what your saying, but I'd imagine the eco-system isn't as big a deal on Android switch over compared to those switching from iOS though. A lot of the major android app's are still free.

If those big names free apps were all available on Samsung's own platform and so you were only left with a handful of other apps that were either not available or you'd have to re-buy (maybe even subsidised by Samsung to some extent to encourage users with the switch), it would go a long way to easing consumers and easing those concerns.

That's why I think Samsung are trying to get people to really invest in their S-app's and all the accessories, so that they are then tied to Samsung's eco-system whether they know it or not. If you've got you S-band and are using S-health and all the rest - you are getting tied into the Samsung experience and therefore eco-system.

By marketing the Samsung as a 'life companion' they are making it essential to your life, now if they switched OS after you've grown so attached - would be 1) less of a wrench to move with them and keep your S-apps or 2) more of a wrench to leave your samsung device and your accessories and go to another manufacturer ?

Get you hooked with S-apps and accessories, sell it to you as an integral part to your daily life, and you'll likely stay with them no matter.....



Now realise this is of course all hypothesis, but the general argument that one could see the ground work for all this being put into place is sound too.
 
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paulsalter

macrumors 68000
Aug 10, 2008
1,622
0
UK
I can certainly see the groundwork for some things

A recent update on the Samsung music app mentioned about it uploading your songs to play anywhere, but when I saw this as a monthly subscription service I lost interest

I have a few apps tied to my Samsung ID, which are used in conjunction with my TV (very similar idea to how AirPlay/Apple TV work, nowhere near as good though)

They need to do a lot of work if they want to have the full system, the Samsung app store is terrible (not the one that links to Play)

IMO, what they have now is best, Samsung dedicated apps that work well with other Samsung devices and tied in with the Google eco system for other data
 
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paulsalter

macrumors 68000
Aug 10, 2008
1,622
0
UK
Had a bit more time to read the article now

Not sure about "The End off Android" tag line

Amazon with their modified version of Android is still Android, they are taking away customers from the Play store into using their own store, but the device is still Android underneath

Not used the Kindle Fire so this is guessing, but are people getting this device still integrating into the Google eco system as well as the Amazon eco system

I have an old Android device, which didn't initially have the Play store on it (modified version of Android), but the rest of the device integrates within Googles eco system

Whatever version of Android devices use, it has it's positive/negatives for Google, they still have some ties into Googles eco system
 
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Irishman

macrumors 68030
Nov 2, 2006
2,744
617
You walk into a room. Everyone in the room is used to eating meal A. Meal A offers the nutrition they want, the flavor they enjoy at a price they're willing to pay. The only problem is, Meal A is cooked, sold and distributed by only one chef: Chef A.

You want to sell meal B. Meal B offers just as much satisfaction as Meal A but you've got no Chefs. Without Chefs, who's gonna sell your Meal B? So you give away the ingredients for Meal B, for free to all the Chefs in the room. Not only that, but you constantly update Meal B to make it tastier, more nutritional and funner to cook.

Now, years later, over 50% of the room has now come to love Meal B. It's part of their daily diet. Some Chefs have made a respectable business for themselves cooking and selling Meal B.

Over 50% of the room can't survive without eating it.

And all the Chefs except Chef A can't survive without selling it.

Now you make it not free.

There are now other choices to be made. Tizen seems to have whet Samsung's appetite. If they can control it, develop it into a replacement OS to Android...
 
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sentinelsx

macrumors 68010
Feb 28, 2011
2,004
0
Merge it with chrome, make killer HTML5 stuff (or maybe an upgrade like HTML6 will be out?) that allows cross-platform services to plug in etc etc.

Android may not be "profitable" for google but I doubt it is going anywhere soon in the next 3-4 years at least.

And now that they are finally seeing the developers start making apps following their design guidelines, have android OS adopt a consistent UI that also looks nice post ICS, and have content offerings through google play, why would google want to kill android so soon?


Killing android is simply going to remove a decent competitor from the race, bad for users.
 
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skratch77

macrumors 65816
Mar 20, 2013
1,241
5
Samsung wont leave android anytime soon and prolly wont ever.They are invested into the eco system now and people wont switch,look how hard MS and BB are doing to try to take some market share away from android.

the app store is made to run android only and you need a gmail account so Samsung would have to make a ground up app store and have devs make apps just for there app store,its not going to happen as android and ios are the leaders and Samsung will be in the same spot as BB with a limited app store.

and android is open source and lets Samsung or whoever do what they want with it so why would Samsung leave a monster eco system when they can add what ever they want on top of it and keep the android eco system that goes with it.
 
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MRU

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Aug 23, 2005
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Samsung wont leave android anytime soon and prolly wont ever.They are invested into the eco system now

on the contrary. If anything Samsung is continuing/increasingly providing alternatives from googles services with its S-App's ...

----------

why would Samsung leave a monster eco system when they can add what ever they want on top of it and keep the android eco system that goes with it.

Simple. When you have a captured audience (200+ million galaxy owners projected in 24 months time) - why would you want someone else to gain financially from your captured audience, the logical business decision would be to make them eco-dependant on you and your services - not someone else.


http://www.npr.org/blogs/alltechcon...1695/samsungs-on-a-roll-but-can-it-beat-apple
Although Samsung had its best quarter ever last year, the profit margin on each new smartphone it sells is slipping. Many analysts believe it's going to be increasingly difficult for Samsung to stand out from other phone makers, unless it can create its own distinctive software.

Samsung is spending hundreds of millions building a new campus here, and it's recruiting new programming talents. When it unveiled its latest phone last week, the boldest innovations were not chipsets or a high-def screen. They were programs that could translate languages and edit photos in new, surprising ways.

In short, Samsung's new phone was all about software.

Eventually they will want to control every aspect of their software and user experience... That includes OS.
 
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paulsalter

macrumors 68000
Aug 10, 2008
1,622
0
UK
Simple. When you have a captured audience (200+ million galaxy owners projected in 24 months time) - why would you want someone else to gain financially from your captured audience, the logical business decision would be to make them eco-dependant on you and your services - not someone else.

Seems like a very big risk for them, expecting users just to move to a new eco system

It's like Apple bringing out the iPhone 6, iOS7 and saying, we have listened to our users and redesigned everything from scratch, unfortunately it is no longer compatible with iCloud/iTunes
 
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MRU

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Aug 23, 2005
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Seems like a very big risk for them, expecting users just to move to a new eco system

It's like Apple bringing out the iPhone 6, iOS7 and saying, we have listened to our users and redesigned everything from scratch, unfortunately it is no longer compatible with iCloud/iTunes

Not really as extreme, and yes it is a gamble. But one that would pay off hugely if successful....

The old 'go big - or go home' motif would apply here.

But give them time to ease the transition and put things in place to do so, and have more people hooked on their own software rather than specific apps from the google store. Cover all the bases and have support from the outset with the likes of Pandora, Skype, Instagram, WhatsApp etc... then the shock wouldn't be so extreme to users.

I imagine the appeal of 'galaxy' device in a couple years time will extend more to the phone and software from Samsung, not google play store. It's the main reason that people choose the Samsung Galaxy over other Android handsets as it is.
 
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