Ron Amadeo, who is usually spot on, is completely misinterpreting the news about Google selling Motorola to Lenovo as Google backing down:
"Google needs to be careful to not anger Samsung, because Samsung accounts for around 40 percent of Android shipments, and losing the company would be a major blow."
"If Google integrates Motorola and Android, every Android OEM walks, and Google’s market share goes down the tubes."
Amadeo is right that if Google lost Samsung as an OEM that it would be devastating to Google’s overall mobile plans. He also acknowledges that if Samsung did leave that their devices would lack Google services and probably struggle in the market as a result. The difference is, Samsung has a lot more to lose in this scenario.
If Google integrated Motorola as their own in-house OEM, why would Samsung and all the other OEMs “walk?” Who are they walking to? Amazon? How are they going to explain to their users that none of their apps or the Google services they use will no longer be available to them on their new devices? No Google Maps, no Google Now, no Play Store, no Google Play Music All Access, etc. Does Amadeo really think Sony, HTC, ZTE, LG, and others have a chance of surviving in the mobile market without Google?
Even mighty Samsung could not survive easily. Samsung would have to either beef up their own app market, content deals, and services or license them from Amazon and Microsoft. How would that be any better than their situation with Google?
It is abundantly clear that this was not mutually assured destruction. This was Google communicating that they have the power in the situation. Google sold Motorola as a token of good will, sure. Google also got rid of the only part of its business consistently bleeding money. If selling Motorola eases Samsung’s concerns about obsolescence and encourages them to stop changing Android almost as much as Amazon has, then that’s a clear win for Google.
Google has the OS, apps, and a services that people want. No OEM, Samsung included, has the resources or talent to try and leave Google’s fold and succeed in the market on their own immediately. Samsung might be able to pull that off with a fork of Android, but it would be after a few rough years and it would force Samsung to rely on other companies while their develop their own services to parity.
I can’t overemphasize this enough: this wasn’t mutually assured destruction. This was Google throwing Samsung a bone. Nothing more.