Samsung and Google are in discussions over scaling back the Korean company’s custom skins on Android devices, in talks that could have a major impact on the future of Google's operating system.
Word is that the two came together after CES, when Samsung’s new Galaxy Tab Pro and Note Pro were revealed with wholly new software designs.
While based on Android, they were a radical departure from the native OS, causing fresh fragmentation concerns at Google’s Mountain View HQ. Samsung already offers two other custom skins on its tablets.
Having agreed a new, decade–long patent licensing deal, the two giants are now ready to bring an end to Samsung’s tweaked interfaces.
Interestingly, Samsung is believed to have promised to focus on Google services such as the Play Store, Newsstand and Hangouts, rather than its own WatchON and ChatON apps, which are often derided as awkward bloatware.
With Google selling its Motorola business to Lenovo, it could be that Samsung now has no reason to fear the Big G developing its own range of devices to compete directly with its ever–growing smartphone business.
Conspiracy? Maybe. But it seems unlikely that the two are not linked.