Google downplays possible rift with Samsung over Android, blames media

Google chief financial officer Patrick Pichette has played down speculation of a possible rift between the search and smartphone giant and its largest hardware partner, Samsung.

In October last year, SmartCompany reported the senior vice president of Samsung’s Media Solution Center business, Kang Tae-jin, announced an aggressive push into the media and software services market that Samsung had previously relied on Google for.

“One of the great advantages we have over our rivals is that Music Hub is pre-installed in our flagship product and will be available later in a bunch of other Samsung devices,” Kang said.

“The message we’re getting from the top is to raise software capability, and buy rather than build, if needed.

“We want to grow the Music Hub to rank in the world’s top four services within three years in both revenue and subscriber numbers. And to shorten the time, we’re ready to do more acquisitions, if needed.”

Meanwhile, on Google’s side, former chief executive Eric Schmidt revealed in July last year that Google’s recent purchase of Motorola Mobility was motivated by more than just the ongoing smartphone patent wars, with co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin harbouring hardware ambitions for the company.

“We always wanted to be in the hardware business,” Schmidt said.

“Larry and Sergey have always wanted to do hardware in one form or another. This [Motorola Mobility takeover] was a way to get into it quickly.”

However, according to ZDNet, Pichette claims – despite Samsung’s move into software and services or Google’s push into hardware – relations remain strong between the two companies.

“We have a terrific relationship with Samsung. They’ve been very successful with the Android platform. They benefited just like the rest of the ecosystem,” Pichette says.

“We welcome all of the partners that we have on our Android platform and continue to innovate. And what our objective and our aim is to make sure that as many partners in the ecosystem continue to benefit from these open source platforms.”

Pichette also downplayed speculation that Google’s recently announced Chromebook Pixel laptop was encroaching on Samsung’s turf in the laptop market.

“I think that both Samsung and ourselves have benefited not only on the Android side but also on the Chrome side. The Chromebook is a runaway success; it’s a runaway success for Google, it’s a runaway success for Samsung,” Pichette says.

“And so, what is not to like about these types of environments. I just think journalists love big headlines that sell newspapers.”

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