Samsung Bailing On Windows Mobile - InformationWeek
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11/11/2009
12:05 AM
Ed Hansberry
Ed Hansberry
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Samsung Bailing On Windows Mobile

In the coming years, it looks like Samsung will be significantly reducing Windows Mobile in its lineup of smartphones. As one of the largest smartphone makers in the world, taking Windows Mobile from over 80% of your lineup to less than 20% in just a few years is a big shift.

In the coming years, it looks like Samsung will be significantly reducing Windows Mobile in its lineup of smartphones. As one of the largest smartphone makers in the world, taking Windows Mobile from over 80% of your lineup to less than 20% in just a few years is a big shift.According to Telecoms Korea, plans to ultimately discard Windows Mobile shortly after 2012. Symbian will be gone by 2011. Samsung will focus on Android and its own Bada platform. Samsung had almost completely obscured the Windows Mobile user interface in its Omnia line of smartphones, similar to what HTC has done with many of its phones.

According to the article, Samsung sold nine million smartphones this year and over four and a half million last year. Windows Mobile sold twenty million smartphones in 2008, so that means Samsung alone was around 25% of WinMo volumes if my calculations are correct.

Samsung claims this is an effort to be less dependant on other operating systems. Google's Android is open source, so they can pretty easily do whatever they want to it, though the further they stray from the base platform, the more likely they are to cause application incompatibility with apps from the Android application store. Their own OS, of course, means they control it from beginning to end. Windows Mobile, on the other hand, isn't open. I am sure it meant to get their custom UI on there involved a bit of trial and error as well as coding around issues rather than having access to the code and fixing the issue at the source.

If Samsung is successful at this, it brings into question the long term viability of closed platforms that are licensed to other manufacturers, such as Windows Mobile. Now that I think about it, WinMo is the last smartphone OS with such a model. Blackberry, iPhone and WebOS are proprietary and used only by the company that makes them. Android and Symbian are open source now.

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