Samsung and Apple are the two giants currently at the top of the mobile game. Both are strong both in their home markets and abroad.(Read Mister Mo’s post titled Are we headed for a bi-polar mobile world?)
Samsung manufactures mobile devices with varying operating systems, including: Bada, Java, Android and Windows phone. The most popular among them is Android. Samsung is king in the Android ecosystem by a wide margin.
Android aside, Samsung knocked Nokia off the mobile (and smartphone) throne by amount of devices shipped not too long ago. They are still maintaining the lead both in the amount of devices shipped and amount sold. The recently released Galaxy SIII has achieved 10 million in sales barely 5 months after its release.
Samsung is so strong in the mobile sector that recently in the United states they told carriers that they did not want any alterations to the physical shape of the Galaxy SIII and the carriers heeded to them. Do you know the last company that pulled that kind of trick and got away with it? Apple!
With Samsung this powerful now, the question is: What happens if and when Samsung gets tired of Google? What happens if they decide to own the OS and choose to fork Android like Amazon did with the Kindle Fire?
Forking according to Wikipedia is defined below:
In software engineering, a project fork happens when developers take a copy of source code from one software package and start independent development on it, creating a distinct piece of software. The term often implies not merely a development branch, but a split in the developer community, a form of schism.
Essentially what the above definition states is that Samsung can decide to take the Android source code (which is open), create a distinct OS from it, and open up their own application store controlled by them and exclusive to their devices.
Given that Samsung is the leading hardware manufacture of Android phones today by a huge margin, it should not be difficult to convince developers to back their app store.
Is an Android fork by Samsung a possibility? If yes, how soon can we expect it?