Samsung created a lot of buzz at CES 2012 (Consumer Electronics Show) last week when they introduced a range of innovative laptops, smartphones, and tablets that are sexy enough to compete directly with Apple and win. With the help of Google and the Android platform, Samsung could potentially become the number one electronics company in the world. At least that’s the concensus of the panelists who spoke at CES 2012 Super Session CNET Presents the Next Big Thing in CE on January 10, 2012.
Preaching to the Choir
Okay, I admit it. My phone is a Droid and I’m writing this on a Samsung laptop. But the panelists gave some compelling arguments in support of Google’s open source approach to the Android Operating System versus Apple’s highly controlled approach with their iOS platform.
My Fave Samsung Products
Their new tablet/smartphone hybrid, Samsung Galaxy Note, comes with a stylus for sketching and taking notes. It will be released in Canada later this year according to mobilesyrup.com.
I’m also excited to see Samsung’s new version of an ultrabook – the 2.5 lb., half inch thick Series 9 Notebook.
Why isn’t RIM coming up with stuff like this? We can only hope.
Samsung’s Secret Weapon: Android
Making Android an open source platform is Google’s double-edged sword. Critics say that Google’s open source approach has created a fragmentation of the Android OS that causes problems for app developers and consumers. On the positive side their open approach has enabled companies like Samsung to use Android as a springboard for innovation.
Google allows hardware manufacturers to use Android for free and edit it without limitations. They offer certification to companies that follow their guidelines. However, they do not prevent companies from releasing devices with new user interfaces based on Android that do not meet Google standards. The Kindle is a example of a successful device with an Android-based user interface that does not meet Google’s standards for certification. Google also allows anyone to release an app without their approval, unlike Apple.
Apple’s Inflexibility Creates Opportunities for Android
One of Apple’s challenges and arguably their strength is their tight control over iOS. On the one hand they create beautiful, usable products that meet their high standards. On the other hand, they may be curtailing innovation by forcing developers to meet their approval or use another OS such as Android.
What do you think? Are Samsung and Android a threat to Apple? Should Apple loosen up their controls?