Andy Rubin steps aside as head of Android
Samsung's Galaxy S4 debuts with eye control and BYOD features
Galaxy S4 could see Samsung beat iPhone
Though the device didn't live up to the longstanding rumour that it would be the first Samsung phone to adopt the Tizen OS platform, it does boast some key features that are almost worlds away from the stock Android formula.
Exclusive new features like hands-off finger sensing and the eye-tracking Smart Stay and Smart Pause make the standard Android Jellybean look positively spartan.
But perhaps the biggest indication that Samsung plans to abandon Google is its decision to offer developers who place their apps in its Samsung App Store 100 per cent of revenue on their wares for six months.
"This rift between the companies has been exacerbated in the past year in the way that Samsung has grown so much more and has become so much more dominant over the Android ecosystem," says Ovum analyst Nick Dillon said.
As things stand, says Dillon, Samsung is "basically doing a lot of Google's work for them in terms of selling a lot of Android devices.
"It's driving more users to Google services, search and mail. And Samsung is just providing the hardware. That's not exactly a bad position, but in the long term there's a risk the loyalty of the consumers will be towards Google, and not to Samsung. After all, you're only as good as your last device."
Dillon used the fate of HTC - which has seen a steady fall from grace after the heyday of the HTC Desire smartphone several years back - as an example. But in a recent survey by enterprise mobility firm iPass, 28 per cent of mobile workers now expect to own a Samsung Galaxy tablet within the next six months. This contrasts with last year, when only six per cent of people expressed similar interest in a Galaxy development. [continues]
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