Those manufacturers who put Windows on their machines for the past 20 years don’t make much money. Apple makes most of the industry’s profits with the Mac. Likewise, smartphone manufacturers that use Android don’t make much money, either, Samsung being the lone exception. Samsung needs to dump Android and be more like Apple.
Lowest. Common. Denominator.
The list of problems that face Android-based smartphone manufacturers is growing. Because Apple designs and builds the whole widget– hardware and software– the company’s devices tend to perform far better than either Windows PCs or Android smartphones and tablets.
Samsung’s Galaxy class hardware has improved in recent years and many of us looked forward to the new Galaxy Note 7, easily equipped as a flagship device with a quad HD screen, 4GB of RAM, an eight-core CPU, and new iris scanner for security; a beautiful device that cannot even run Android’s latest version. This week I’ve been privileged to try out the Galaxy Note 7 and all I can say is this:
Samsung needs to dump Android.
First, the Note 7’s screen is to die for. It’s beautiful, bright, clear, sharp. After that, it’s all downhill. A one year old iPhone 6s Plus opens and runs applications faster and the battery– though smaller– lasts longer. Worse, the Note 7’s screen suffers from lag, stutters, freezes, and visual hickeys which make using it something of a pain.
Why? What’s wrong with Android?
It’s the same with Windows. Microsoft’s flagship operating system is doled out to manufacturers who load it up with app and utility crapola so the user experience is more painful than beneficial. Worse for the manufacturers, there is precious little to differentiate their Windows PCs from a competitors Windows PCs, or even from Microsoft’s own Surface PCs. PC manufacturers have to pay Microsoft for Windows and then compete against Windows on Microsoft’s own PCs.
Samsung is in a similar pickle jar. Sure, Android is free, and smartphone manufacturers are free to add to or modify the basic interface, but Android is Android, and even mighty Google cannot create a version that works well on all the hundreds and hundreds of Android hardware devices. Even Samsung cannot optimize Android for its own devices, as evidenced by the new Galaxy Note 7’s inability to keep up with a year old iPhone in user benchmark tests, and the scrolling and screen problems which are years old already.
Samsung needs to dump Android.
How else can the Korean company differentiate itself from all the other Android-powered smartphones and tablets on the market? Last year Samsung launched a few mid-range smartphones running Tizen instead of Android, and this year they’re launching more, as the Galaxy maker hedges its bets against Android.
Tizen is an operating system based on the Linux kernel and the GNU C Library implementing the Linux API. It works on a wide range of devices, including smartphones, tablets, in-vehicle infotainment devices, smart TVs, PCs, smart cameras, wearable computing (such as smartwatches), Blu-ray players, printers and smart home appliances (such as refrigerators, lighting, washing machines, air conditioners, ovens/microwaves and a robotic vacuum cleaner). Its purpose is to offer a consistent user experience across devices. Tizen is a project within the Linux Foundation and is governed by a Technical Steering Group which includes Samsung and Intel among others.
In other words, Tizen is the rest of the industry’s path toward dumping Android.
How is that working out so far? It’s not. Have you ever seen anyone with a smartphone or other device that runs Tizen instead of Android? Notably, Tizen runs on some of Samsung’s new TVs.
Successful product marketing is as much about product differentiation as it is anything else and Samsung works desperately to differentiate its products from the lowest common denominator that makes up the vast majority of Android smartphones. Samsung needs to do with Tizen what Apple already does with iOS and that is easier said than done, though the Galaxy maker deserves some kudos for trying to break the tyrannical yoke of Google’s oppressive Android regime.