Microsoft Subnet An independent Microsoft community View more

Samsung torpedoing Windows Phone? Preposterous.

A new analyst prediction speculates that Samsung is intentionally sabotaging Windows Phone sales in order to benefit its Tizen operating system.

I try to give analysts the benefit of the doubt and assume that they know what they are talking about, but every now and then I get a report that's pure entertainment. A report by analyst Jeff Johnston of Detwiler Fenton definitely falls into that category.

Johnson claims that Samsung is trying to sabotage Windows Phone and drain Microsoft resources so its own Tizen smartphone operating system will succeed when it ships. When it will ship is a mystery because Tizen has been vapor up to now. Yes, there is a 1.0 version out there and a beta of 2.0, but no one is using it.

Tizen is a Linux derivative OS with a WebKit browser. Because we don't have enough of those. The first devices were supposed to hit the market in second half of 2012, but now there are no set dates beyond rumors of a summer launch.

Johnston notes that Samsung's ATIV Odyssey phone has essentially failed to gain any real market share, and there is "no talk of Samsung stepping in to help boost sales...Samsung Windows Phone roadmap is limited to a small number of smartphones, none of which appear to be all that exciting."

I'll give him this much. Samsung really isn't trying with WP8. I had been very interested in the ATIV S, which was reported to be the Galaxy S III hardware running WP8, but I cannot find it anywhere. Not one local carrier store has it or can get it. The Odyssey is out there but when was the last time you saw an ad? Meanwhile, there are tons of ads for the SIII and Note II.

But here's where Johnston gets into conspiracy theory.

Our checks indicate that Samsung may be intentionally gobbling up Microsoft's smartphone resources as a strategic move to impede the adoption of Windows Phone 8. While Samsung insists on receiving extensive engineering support (which they are getting) from MSFT (giving MSFT false hope that it is interested being a strategic Windows Phone 8 partner) there is no evidence that Samsung has any interest in seeing the Windows Phone platform succeed...as it tries to create a barrier for its Tizen aspirations.

He goes on to say it's no secret that Samsung wants to become less reliant on Android and it's pinning its hopes on Tizen. First, that's an incredibly dubious strategy on Samsung's part. And second, are we to believe Microsoft is that big of a sucker? I don't, and if they realize that Samsung is up to no good, the retaliation would not be pretty and Samsung would find itself losing friends all over the industry.

Samsung does have a quandary. I can see not wanting to be so dependent on Android, especially with Andy Rubin's departure casting a shadow over the project. Likewise, it does not want to cannibalize Galaxy SIII sales. On the other hand, forsaking WP8 for a vaporware OS seems downright stupid. Now, considering that BlackBerry has said it is considering licensing its smartphone OS to other OEMs, if you told me Samsung was first in line, I'd buy it.

To comment on this article and other Network World content, visit our Facebook page or our Twitter stream.
Must read: Hidden Cause of Slow Internet and how to fix it
Notice to our Readers
We're now using social media to take your comments and feedback. Learn more about this here.