As Samsung’s smartphone marketshare has grown, so has its influence on Google’s Android operating system. Google’s concerns over this has led the search giant to turn to other partners to regain some leverage against the South Korean device maker.
The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday carried word that Google is concerned about Samsung’s preeminence in the Android smartphone segment. Samsung, chief rival to Apple, accounts for about 40 percent of Android device sales.
Samsung shipped 215.8 million smartphones last year, the majority of which ran Android. That was a 39.6% piece of the global smartphone pie, and a 40.2% share of overall Android smartphone shipments. Samsung also has a 27.9% chunk of the Android tablet shipments, up 15.6% from 2011.
The Journal reports that Google executives worry that Samsung could leverage its position to renegotiate its arrangement and perhaps grab a piece of Google’s mobile-ad revenue. Samsung currently receives more than 10 percent of the revenue Google generates from mobile search.
Keeping that in mind, Google is reported to have met with other Android device makers at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week, in hopes that their devices will be able to take back some of the marketshare from Samsung.
Another fear is that Samsung could “fork” Android, much as Amazon has for its Kindle line of devices, which has cut Google out of the picture entirely. Samsung has also shown an interest in shifting its devices to its own OS, Tinzen.
Google has also worked to increase the visibility and popularity of Motorola, which it purchased last year. Google is said to be working on the “X Phone” within Motorola. If the phone is a resounding success, it would lessen Android’s marketshare reliance on Samsung.