Technology companies are much like politics; both make for some strange bedfellows. Think of all the strange relationships in the technology industry surrounding Apple. Our favorite Mac maker has a frenemies list; enemies as friends.
Apple buys screens from Samsung, chips from Qualcomm (Apple has sued both), and everybody uses workers and materials in China. Microsoft has Office almost everywhere; Google Android and iOS. The latest has the Office maker getting into bed with Samsung for a special product.
Office On Fire
The Windows maker and Samsung got together to create a Samsung Galaxy 8 Microsoft Edition. Nobody but Microsoft and Samsung know for sure, but it’s obvious that a number of things are taking place in this K-I-S-S-I-N-G-fest. Samsung wants Microsoft to sell more Galaxy 8 models. Microsoft wants to make sure Samsung’s new flagship has Office installed.
Samsung already cut a deal with Microsoft by putting Windows 10 and Office on the Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro S tablet. Oh, and they stopped suing each other and reached some kind of agreement over a long-standing Android patent suit. Microsoft has become something of an industry leader on deals and says there are dozens of Android devices that now have Office– Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, OneDrive, Skype, and Outlook– preinstalled.
If that’s not Microsoft K-I-S-S-I-N-G then I don’t know what is. Maybe Trump looking to Democrats to get a health bill passed.
The fact that Microsoft is pushing Office onto Samsung’s latest Galaxy line tells me a few things. Apple doesn’t like to do such deals in public and probably not in private. Microsoft’s Windows phone is dead but nobody at the company’s headquarters is willing to admit it. Somehow that seems much the same as the Mac Pro at Apple. It’s all but dead but nobody at Apple’s new or old headquarters seems willing to admit it.
First and foremost, Microsoft is a software company, while Samsung, for all the thieving it has done with Apple’s products through the years, sells hardware. Lots and lots of hardware; everything from smartphones and tablets to chips and screens to washers and dryers. Hardware needs retail outlets and Microsoft has a few of them. Just a few, though. Fortunately for switchers, they’re usually located down the Mall hall from an Apple Store.
Can you name a similar deal that Apple cut with another company? I have a few, starting with iTunes and the record companies. Steve Jobs cut the deal of the century and that helped to launch the iTunes Music Store, which catapulted iPod sales, which then expanded to iTunes for Windows, and made the iPod the de facto music platform.
Here’s another. iPod by HP; a great deal for Apple, a lousy deal for HP, and another good reason not to vote for Carly Fiorina. Another is the original iPhone which was launched with exclusive partner AT&T back in 2007.
Apple gained experience with retail outlets during the iPod years and that helped to get the iPhone into rapid growth mode. It’s no secret that Apple Stores help to sell everything Apple, but also have a few accessories and products that work well with Apple’s gear. Obviously, Apple has ongoing deals with component suppliers and manufacturers– TMSC, Samsung, Intel, come to mind, but there’s also a big deal with IBM to push Macs and iPads into the enterprise with special software for the corporate environment.
Wherever possible, Apple prefers to go it alone, but not unlike Microsoft and Samsung sitting in a tree, the Mac maker is willing to cut a deal if the terms are acceptable. And Apple gets top billing. Like iPod. By HP.