Is Samsung Leaving Android for Windows Phone 8?
Samsung is planning to release two Windows Phone 8 devices in 2012, signaling the end of a near-exclusive relationship with Google's (NASDAQ: GOOG) Android platform.
The first phone, currently referred to as the "Odyssey," comes with a dual-core 1.5GHz processor from Qualcomm (NASDAQ: QCOM), and is apparently described as an "iconic smartphone" with 4G LTE. (How can something be iconic before it is even released?)
Odyssey will also feature a 4.65-inch Super AMOLED display (high-def, of course), as well as an 8MP rear camera. According to The Verge, the device may also support the Wallet Hub and Tap + Send features of Windows Phone 8.
Samsung's other device, currently referred to as "Marco," will reportedly feature a four-inch Super AMOLED display, and will also support 4G LTE.
While this unofficial announcement is good news for Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT), which no longer has to rely on Nokia (NYSE: NOK) to save its Windows Phone 8 platform, it could greatly impact the company's relationship with Google. Samsung may not have any plans to drop Android. The company may fully intend to release the Galaxy S IV exclusively on Android next year. But if its Windows Phone 8 experiment proves to be successful, Samsung will have to make a choice when it comes time to develop its best next-gen phones. The company will not be able to make all of them for Android. Thus, Android may end up missing out on phones that it could have had if Samsung had avoided Windows Phone 8 development.
But the consequences will not end there. By developing for the Windows Phone 8 platform, Samsung has given an official thumbs-up to Microsoft's latest mobile OS. In doing so, other smartphone manufacturers are bound to take notice.
When that happens, Android could continue to lose. Just as the market shifted to Android from other platforms, it could soon shift from Android to Windows Phone 8.
For now, however, Android can celebrate the fact that its Samsung-manufactured devices have outsold the iPhone by more than 20 million units.
Apple is having a bit of a celebration as well. Earlier this month, ChangeWave Research revealed that iPhone 5 demand is through the roof, breaking all records set by the previous iPhones, including the iPhone 4S.
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