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Samsung Is Plotting A Google-free Future

Late last week Samsung announced that it had partnered with Nokia to bring Here Maps exclusively to it's Galaxy line of mobile devices. That's an interesting deal, when you consider that Google Maps is a pretty good product and delivers an excellent user experience across all Android hadnsets.

Now this may be about Samsung differentiating its handsets from the rest of the Android herd but there's a strong suspicion that Samsung is planning to ditch Google's mobile services install and fork away from Android in the same way that Amazon and Nokia have previously.

Why would Samsung be contemplating such a move? Currently it's the number one mover of Android phones - in fact it sells as many Galaxy phones as most of the rest of the Android licensess put together. What it doesn't do though is make a huge amount of money from those phones once they're in the hands of consumers. Samsung is looking at how Apple's business is structured and looking to deliver a similar experience for Galaxy customers.

Samsung has now lined up competition for Google's Mobile Services bundle in every area where there is a profit to be made - and in some which just allow it to ditch the GMS bundle completely.

It's not so long since Google read Samsung the riot act about how it's software bundle duplicated Google's services and caused confusion. Clearly Samsung's response is heading towards clearing Google off its devices and making its own application, media and wallet services defaults.

The deal with Nokia now completes that set, with a navigation tool which is at least the equal of Google's and in many ways better. Here Maps and Navigation are standout features of Nokia's Windows Phone handsets and it's unlikely any of that excellence will get lost during the transition to Android.

Samsung is even veering away from Google in add on hardware - it's own Gear smartwatch line runs Tizen and promises to compete with Google's partners offerings, it has AllCast to compete with Chromecast and its purchase of SmartThings puts it into the mix with Google's Nest.

This isn't great news for Google - most of the world buys a Galaxy smartphone that happens to run Android. If that smartphone no longer generates an income stream for Google how much more effort can they be expected to put into developing the platform?