In an effort to reconcile their visions for Android, Samsung and Google have reportedly been hammering out a deal whereby Samsung would more prominently feature Google's suite of apps on its mobile devices.
Google was not particularly excited by the Magazine UX interface that Samsung incorporated into the Galaxy NotePRO tablet it unveiled at CES.
Samsung has long added its own flourishes to Android via the Touchwiz interface, just as HTC does with Sense. But re/code pointed to a recent report from ABI Research, which found that while Android dominates the mobile OS space globally, there has been a sharp rise in the percentage of forked Android operating systems, particularly in China and India. About 25 perc ent of devices running Android are running versions that don't include Google's suite of apps.
Apparently, Samsung is amenable to adding Google movie and music apps to its devices rather than its own software as part of the deal it is working out with Google. Re/code didn't have details about what Samsung would get out of the deal, though over the weekend, Google and Samsung signed a cross-licensing patent deal that covers their existing patents as well as patents produced by either across the next decade.
The story also ran before Google announced that it would sell Motorola Mobility to Lenovo for $2.91 billion.
In the wake of Google buying Motorola Mobility in 2011, the search giant released rather unconvincing statements from its major hardware partners in which they said they welcomed the deal and were "very enthusiastic" about it.
Samsung mobile chief J.K. Shin, for example, said that "we welcome today's news, which demonstrates Google's deep commitment to defending Android, its partners, and the ecosystem."
No one really believed that, though. These firms were really excited that Google bought and would be funneling support to one of its major rivals? Not a chance, but what were they supposed to say? Companies like Samsung, LG, HTC, and Sony had a lot riding on Android. They couldn't really jump ship, at least not immediately.
Google didn't mention Samsung in its Motorola/Lenovo announcement, of course, but Samsung is probably just fine with the deal. According to re/code, there has been a "huge change" in the Samsung-Google relationship in recent weeks. Perhaps we'll get a glimpse of how big with the Samsung Galaxy S5, which is expected to debut this spring.