Samsung, the Android phone giant, is suing Korean newspaper ETNews for falsely publishing incorrect information related to the upcoming Galaxy S5 smartphone. According to the news article, Samsung was apparently having trouble with the manufacture of cameras for the S5. This would mean a push back on the April 11 launch date for the phone (a big prompt for investors to get angry). This prompted a response from Samsung for the news corporation to retract the statement, which it refused.
Samsung is now suing for $284,000 USD (or 300 million KRW) from the newspaper. Of course, as pointed out by BGR, we don’t know a lot of details since the site’s translation is horrible. It released a statement to internet news site TechCrunch to clarify it’s actions related to this case:
“Samsung Electronics sought a correction from ET News following the publication of false claims that can hugely damage our business and brand value. In the interests of providing consumers with accurate information, we made a number of requests for the information to be corrected. Unfortunately this was ignored and we are now taking legal action as a last resort.”
While Samsung’s position on this is understandable, especially on the heels of investor outrage over the low sales figures of the Galaxy S4. Apple Insider has pointed out that similar happenings have gone on at the launch of every major Apple phone and the company has yet to sue any news outlet for incorrect information.
Samsung owns the vast majority of the market share for Android, 29.6% in fact. That may not seem like a big number, but it dominates the competitors: in Q4 2013 alone Samsung shipped 86 million phones. That’s on top of a platform that already owns the vast majority of smartphone OS market share at a good 81%. This puts Samsung in a very good position to dictate what the current state of Android is….and it’s very far removed from creator Google’s vision.
It starts with Touchwiz as pointed out in a recent Forbes article. A Samsung technology to provide a new user experience and frontend to Android that replaces or adds many different features to the Android smartphone. Some good, some bad….while many critics argue that Touchwiz is a terrible and bloated interface, you can’t argue with sales numbers and hardware. This extended to other Samsung products including it’s popular television sets and a new OS in development at Samsung to replace Android: Tizen. But that hides the core of the “Android experience” as it’s been dubbed in the media. And Google wants Samsung to sit down, shut-up and keep licensing Google technology.
This is where Motorola came into play.
Acquiring Motorola for 12.5 billion dollars and then selling it for 2.91 billion on the surface seems like a bad business decision. And surely enough there were many pundits that made that call. But what the majority are forgetting are the numerous patents acquired from the sale for mobile technology (around 17,000 to be precise). This sale occurred in 2011. A few years later, Google decided to use Motorola to teach Samsung a lesson.
Enter the Motorola Droid RAZR, X and G. Three popular phones that run almost bare stock Android. The purpose of these phones were simple, show users what fast, simple Android could do on it’s own. Google also began focusing more effort on the Nexus line, dropping Samsung as the manufacturer and taking on LG to release the Nexus 4.
Clearly the growing popularity of these phones and the market share of Motorola under Google was threatening to Samsung. So they decided to cut a deal in which they would license Google technology for 10 years. Effectively cutting off Tizen and with promises that Samsung would stop cutting out stock Android apps for it’s own Touchwiz interface.
The next day, Lenovo bought Motorola from Google for 2.91 billion dollars.