Samsung Earns More Profits Than Google

A blog about business and economics.
Nov. 16 2012 12:36 PM

How Samsung Beat Google


Google and Samsung are key partners in the mobile phone platform wars. Google makes Android and Samsung makes the most popular Android hardware. But Horace Dediu notes that a funny thing happened on the way to Android becoming the market-share leader—Samsung is earning more profits than Google.

Now in any successful collaboration, someone will be winning more than his partners. But this is still an odd situation. It's as if back in 1999, Dell was making more money selling Windows PCs than Microsoft was.


There are two factors that make this dynamic particularly curious. One is that Google owns a major mobile phone hardware company, Motorola. Motorola has fallen on hard times, but until very recently was a key player in this market. The other is that Android, unlike Windows, is "open" and ambitious companies can take its core and fork it to make their own thing. That's what Amazon did for its Kindle Fires. So in that respoect, Google has both more and less leverage over the Android ecosystem than Microsoft does over Windows. More because it has an established and credible hardware subsidiary, but less because in principle Samsung could actually try to seize control of the platform.

Matthew Yglesias is the executive editor of Vox and author of The Rent Is Too Damn High.



Smash and Grab

Will competitive Senate contests in Kansas and South Dakota lead to more late-breaking races in future elections?

Stop Panicking. America Is Now in Very Good Shape to Respond to the Ebola Crisis.

The 2014 Kansas City Royals Show the Value of Building a Mediocre Baseball Team

The GOP Won’t Win Any Black Votes With Its New “Willie Horton” Ad

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?


Forget Oculus Rift

This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual reality experience.

One of Putin’s Favorite Oligarchs Wants to Start an Orthodox Christian Fox News

These Companies in Japan Are More Than 1,000 Years Old

Trending News Channel
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM Watch Flashes of Lightning Created in a Lab  
  News & Politics
The World
Oct. 20 2014 1:50 PM Why We Shouldn’t Be Too Sure About the Supposed Deal to Return the Abducted Nigerian Schoolgirls
Oct. 20 2014 7:23 PM Chipotle’s Magical Burrito Empire Keeps Growing, Might Be Slowing
Dear Prudence
Oct. 20 2014 3:12 PM Terror Next Door Prudie advises a letter writer whose husband is dangerously, violently obsessed with the neighbors.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 20 2014 1:10 PM Women Are Still Losing Jobs for Getting Pregnant
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 20 2014 7:15 AM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 9 A spoiler-filled discussion of "Flatline."
Brow Beat
Oct. 20 2014 9:13 PM The Smart, Talented, and Utterly Hilarious Leslie Jones Is SNL’s Newest Cast Member
Future Tense
Oct. 20 2014 4:59 PM Canadian Town Cancels Outdoor Halloween Because Polar Bears
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Oct. 20 2014 11:46 AM Is Anybody Watching My Do-Gooding? The difference between being a hero and being an altruist.
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.