I’ve read at least a half-dozen pieces of solid analysis on Google’s deal to offload Motorola to Lenovo, and perhaps the best is this one from GigaOm.com‘s Tom Krazit. Noting the licensing deal Google and Samsung announced earlier this week, Krazit writes that dumping its mobile manufacturing business removes “a wedge issue” for Samsung, which is the dominant producer of Android devices. As Dieter Bohn of The Verge tweeted, Samsung appears to have bought Android “for zero billion dollars.”
But also worth a read is this piece from Re/code, which Krazit cites and which — amazingly — was published just a few hours before the Motorola deal was announced. Reporters Liz Gannes and Ina Fried reported that Google and Samsung “began hammering out a series of broad agreements at CES” a few weeks ago that will essentially curtail the Korean manufacturer’s efforts to co-opt Android. Google pressed Samsung to kill or at least minimize its Magazine UX interface, according to Re/code, and to stop offering apps and services on Android that duplicate Google’s offerings.
But Samsung has long wanted to become a player in the mobile services market, which will is generally far more lucrative than simply churning out devices. Samsung had hoped to do that within the larger Android ecosystem, obviously, but it has also been pushing Tizen, an OS that integrates MeeGo with Samsung’s former platform bada. Tizen has been slow to come to market, but Samsung had reportedly been planning to use Mobile World Congress next month to showcase some major changes to the OS. That may not happen now that Google and Samsung are bosom buddies in Android land, but I’d bet that Samsung will quietly continue to develop Tizen.