We’ve had occassion to note the paradox of Android’s success as a product and failure as a business but to be clear that’s Android failing as a business venture for Google which created it. Samsung’s stellar third quarter earnings showing operating profit of $7.4 billion with half its revenue coming from mobile devices is a reminder that Korea’s breakout star company has built a great business on the shoulders of Android.
Indeed, given the extent to which they’ve managed to pull away from the pack in terms of making money selling Android phones you have to wonder if they’re considering the possibility of forking Android to create a more clearly Samsung-branded ecosystem the way Amazon already has. That would be a classic disruptive path, not only challenging Apple with high-quality lower-margin products but ultimately challenging Google as well.
Meanwhile, Samsung continues to have a great display panel business. The television manufacturing industry is collapsing, but obviously the world has more screens than ever before. And Samsung seems to have done better than any other company out there in getting into that industry as the go-to suppliers for great screens.