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Is Samsung trying to sabotage Windows Phone 8 to edge out Microsoft?

Many in our audience here know our opinion on Samsung—they lead the way with the Focus back when Windows Phone 7 was launched and up until recently, appeared to be a major competitor on the platform.  But with Windows Phone 8 and their ATIV S and Odyssey phones (with on the runt of the litter getting US carrier support), we’re just going to say: Their phones and effort to promote the platform look half-assed.

That’s not to say they aren’t good devices, indeed the ATIV S has quite a few things going for it and we would actually have no problem recommending it. But between the lack of advertising, reported price drops and even the “late to the show” arrival of their flagship phone, one gets the impression that Samsung is not really into Microsoft any more. (Samsung blames the carriers).

Over at All Things D, John Paczkowski is putting forth the idea that what Samsung is doing is not accidental but on purpose. Needless to say, that’s a heavy accusation but he cites Detwiler Fenton analyst Jeff Johnston, who has this to say:

“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 Microsoft, there is no evidence that Samsung has any interest in seeing the Windows Phone platform succeed.”

The supposed reason? Samsung is trying to move away from Android and Windows Phone as they ready their Tizen OS for commercial release. In turn, they would rather see Windows Phone 8 struggle than explode as another eventual competitor.  Since they are currently making all of their money off of the Galaxy S series anyway, it doesn’t hurt to hobble to the struggler (Microsoft).

Samsung wanning in the US with Windows Phone

Of course these are just theories and there is no smoking gun here to suggest Samsung is purposefully trying to sabotage Microsoft and Windows Phone 8. But to return to the beginning, Samsung certainly feels like it is treating Windows Phone differently this time around—lackluster hardware, limited selection, publicly dissing RT. Let us ask another question: how are they helping?

And if they’re not decisively trying to cripple Windows Phone 8 then they’re just awful at making and selling phones, something their Galaxy S series seems to contradict. Amidst claims of IP theft (most recently by Nokia, off the record), Samsung appears to be making quite a few enemies as they move to be an “all in one” manufacturer.

What say you? Do you think Samsung is purposefully trying to string Microsoft along? Take our poll and let us know in comments.

Source: All Things D; Thanks, Stuart P., for the tip!

Daniel Rubino
Executive Editor

Daniel Rubino is the Executive Editor of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft here since 2007, back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and arguing with people on the internet.

201 Comments
  • Samsung would not switch from android, or they will have barely any success, in my opinion.
  • They will switch from Android and they will be successful because of it.
     
    Well, sort of.  Tizen has a Linux kernel (like Android) and runs Openmobile's ACL (and therefore, almost all Android Apps).  So, the switch to Tizen will not be a full-blown abandonement of Android.  But it will give them their own own horse in the race, and you can bet the carriers will push it hard.
  • They wouldn't have access to the play store. Would the developers just loan their apps to samsungs store? and is there any reason why the developers wouldn't want to post to the samsung store?
  • Samsung is the 800lb gorilla of Android handset makers. Developers will fall over themselves to make sure their Android apps end up in whatever store Samsung has.
  • This, which is why Google went with LG for the latest Nexus. Just like "Lumia" is pretty much the Windows phone, "Galaxy" is pretty much the Android phone. When Samsung makes a "Galaxy" phone, people want it because the brand is strong, and they are genuinely good phones. If developers want access to those customers, they will have to give Samsung's store access to their apps.
  • Sorry, I don't agree on the "Just like "Lumia" is pretty much the Windows phone". My hat is off to HTC because they're keeping their stand without Microsoft's full help. This seems to me the iPhone legacy in american minds: one OS for only one manufacturer. Lumia 920 is more expensive than 8X without a solid reason.
    On the current subject: Unfortunately, Windows Phone OS is still considered an undesired OS because:
    1) it is easy and cheap to build an app for Android andmost dev's have become hardened followers. Their phones have become Gollum's ring although most apps are useless.
    2) Every Linux and Java developer out there still believes himself to be "fighting the system and Microsoft". No longer true because there are more Linux and Java devs out there than C# and C++ -ists.
    3) People get used to a phone and an OS, bought because a friend, collegue, neighbour has one and it looks cool. You can't really easily change phones because most are tied to an e-mail account that you have and do not want to change.
    So I believe that the best move that Microsoft made to push-up sales on Windows phones was the upgrade of hotmail to outlook. Many users switched from Gmail to Outlook because of this, and also switched to WP from Android.
    4) WP OS is still very young, compared to Android or Symbian.  Most Android users never got their hands on a WP7 yet.  I think we should have patience and not jump to conclusions.
    Crap-sung (as cutely named by an user on WPCentral)  makes bad phones. Galaxy's are full of problems and SIII was a huge bust on the market, at least here in Romania. SIV is coming out. They're trying to flood the market  with Android phones just to keep the sales up. But you got things wrong. It does not have to bad-mouth WP or sabotage the sales. In order for a weakened Android market to return to it's previous glory, Crap-sung just has to treat WP like an Android user would. "It is good, but Android is better". This is because Samsung is still mainly an Android phone manufacturer. Just like HTC has a long history with Windows Mobile, more even than Android. And Nokia, has no other chance. If WP OS fails, so do they become bankrupt again. So it's normal for Nokia to be the hardest pusher, and for Microsoft to protect their investment.
  • "Lumia 920 is more expensive than 8X"  Where..???
    btw L920 hv 32GB storage where 8X has 16.. "Windows Phone OS is still considered an undesired OS"
    U said that... look @ the PCMag. Reader's Choice 
    http://www.wpcentral.com/windows-phone-8-wins-reader-choice-award-pc-mag I stopped raeding after these two sentence... :/
  • Too bad you stopped reading. It's true. Here in Romania, Nokia are more expensive than HTC since... forever.  Vendors are using the european name of Nokia to promote a false quality. And I think that the storage battle is for lazy-bones with no internet access or PC's. My former HTC 7 Pro had 8 GB storage and I never used more than 1.5 GB in total, OS included. I like phones with max 16 Gb because the more storage space you have, the more battery and processor speed it needs. But this is a personal opinion.
    I just have to look at the market percentage of smartphone users and you will see the difference, better than any magazine reader choice. Different smarphone OS means a good competition, not war between users. So I agree that there are a lot of people out there that like Android, and hold my beliefs into a better future for WP's.
     
  • It's good that you don't want to pay for something you're not going to use, but... 32Gb storage, OIS on the camera, Qi wireless charging onboard... of course the 920 costs more than the 8X. I rate the 8X as being a small step up from my 820 (more storage, perhaps a better camera and branded Gorilla Glass) but it doesn't have the feature set of the 920. And it doesn't need to, it's hitting a price point all of its own, currently.
  • Good point,I agree. We can't get yet wireless chargers with Lumias in EMEA so I do not mind, and NFC is totally useless as well because the services do not exist in the country. I got an 8X for the look and the price. It's one hell of a phone.
  • I m there where Support is... The amount of support Nokia gives to their customer is example for other OEMs. Not only WP OEMs for Android OEMs too ... No Android manufacturer suppots their Device like Nokia is doing.. The World is not revolving around high-end markets... There are people who want great phones within reasonable pricepoint. So Nokia released 5 phones in different pricepoint.. CAN U BELIEVE, A DUAL CORE PHONE @ 170$ I m a 7.8 user but unlike other people I m not whining about anything becz NOKIA is giving me perks time to time. I will happily stay in the camp.
  • There is an old saying: Never put all your eggs in the same basket. But you see, Nokia has to because of Microsoft, and also, Symbian is dead. HTC, Samsung, other manufacturers have back-up revenue in case WP goes belly-up. Nokia does not, this is why you're getting all the support. I wish I had as much HTC support, but i would not like HTC in that situation. Nokia is also flooding the market in order to get customers. Things will change in time.
  • So, U r not a long term customer of Nokia. They care.  Nokia 5130 -> Nokia N72 -> Nokia 5800 -> E63 -> Lumia 800
  • Another, "I don't need it so nobody else does either," perp. If left to you, we'd still be making calls from phone booths with rotary dials. Sorry, I'm not going back to carrying an ipod around and I use my phone like a flash drive. SD expansion uses no more resources, battery, or memory worth mentioning.
  • 1.Nokia is better then htc,it has higher quality build,more app from nokia then apps from htc,and the graphic on the top of this page says everything.
    2.True most people buy phones because ,friend,neigbor,colleague has one,and they don't even know and don't care about the OS
    3WP is still young indeed but ,the problem is those lazy ass,or incompetent people from MS don't do enough to get WP to adult age.If they keep it at this pace in 2 years wp will look as a retarded teenager,and of course will fail.
          Too bad that in the process ms will drag nokia down,but who knows,maybe in 2016 nokia will start making  android phones too
  • Hi Adi or should I say Salut, because I recognized a countryman.
    Nokia is not better than HTC. Nokia has not been dragged down by Microsoft, but MS has pushed tons of money into Nokia to keep it alive. And I will use only WP until they stop making it, because I believe it to be a very good OS, faster and more secure than Android.
  • Yep,you'right salut it is :).I like wp too,and i belive that it has potential,BUT somebody has to do something about it and that is MS,which is not working at the speed it is supposed to work ,and because of that nokia sales suffer,I don't live in Romania anymore,but where I am now if I go to any carrier to ask for a nokia they recommend me from the start something else "because wp is not that good"this is not my opinion,it is the salesmen opinion.This is the image of wp right now,either we like it or not,and that image draggs nokia down.Yes MS money saved nokia for now but it may bury it too.
     And I still belive that nokia outclasses htc in terms of design and build quality.
     :)
    o zi buna iti doresc
  • So... I'm patient. Because we're witnessing a full-on game of thrones in the mobile world.
  • Wouldn't Samsung run into issues because they've signed onto Google's Open Handset Alliance (or whatever it's called)?  Isn't the reason Amazon was able to fork Android because they HADN'T signed onto the OHA?
  • I beleive t just means they give up the OHA so they won't get access to the Play store and the Google services suite
  • If it doesn't have access to the play store they've set themselves back three years.
  • I think they can pull it off if they stick to the already familiar Galaxy brand.  It might seem dishonest, but as long as Tizen can run Android apps, I don't think many users would realize its not even running Android itself.
  • At least some people understand why Surface exists and why Nokia. Microsoft could not depend on Asus, Acer, HP, Dell and Samsung to position MS products in phones or tablets or ultrabook design.
     
    Even if MS did turn to the regular vendors there's the issue of patent trolls and Apple holding up Samsung in courts everywhere. Microsoft needed  a defense strategy they control on Surface and with Nokia on the phones. At worse it is  a back up plan. Turns out it was needed.
     
    Samsung, LG, Panasonic, Sony, Lenovo, Vizio--each of these will be offering Smart TV sets, Phones, Blue-Rays and Boxes  with Android over the next two years. Most will have media stores. Possibily offer games. 
     
    Look at the slow speed of SSD price drops and ultrabook price drop and all-in-ones. The whole industry is trying to reassert itself after years of Microsft and Intel dominance. The players hated the Intel Ultrabook specification that forced margins down by pricing ultras under $999.00 with the first generation. THey hate Surface now. They wiil hate a Surface 7". They hate Perceptive Pixel. There isn't a thing they like about Mcirosoft getting into hardware and undermining their strategy of Asian hegemony with Google/Android.
  • IMO, it's not about switching from Android, it's about seizing the opportunities. Yes Windows Phone is identical to Nokia nowadays, but the platform is still considered new that it's still up for anyone to grab.
    Moving toward the Windows Phone land doesn't mean they have to leave the Android camp. If Samsung is able to grab both markets, it will be a huge advantage for them.
  • Agreed here, SamPhones are not the best but like said earlier on comments Android phones are the Samsung Smartphones, they do not want to invest on a new OS since android sells quite well. The WP device from Sams is intended to increase its market but relying on the MS(or Nokia) to promote WP, they will not invest on it ( sabotage would be simply do not make a WP device).
  • Fuck Sam-crap really sick of all this....
  • Sam?
     
    Edit: Nevermind, I see what you mean now.  Thought you were talking about Sam, one of the editors here.
  • Sam-suck would have made more phonetic sense.
  • Actually Sam-dung is probably the best one here. 
  • Sam-dung
  • SAMSHIT it rhyme better :-P
  • Oh that one is good "SAMSHIT..."
  • Samsung in indonesian is called SAMSUL or SAM-PRET. pretty funny.
  • :D :D In french SAMSOUL would mean it's a pain in the arse (if you write it "Ca me soule")
  • Sameshit S4. Coming soon.
  • The best is obviously SameSoon. It sounds like Samsung in many accents and accurately describes their strategy
  • Perhaps. Clearly they don't care, just let them do there thing with android. Keep Nokia HTC as your OEMs.
  • Having worked with big corporate such as Samsung, all I can say is this. Some people do care. They understand that the company can not only run on a short-term goal. Reaching both ends of spectrum is crucial and these people know. But unfortunately they are not the key decision maker. Samsung is full of idiots (harsh but true) and sadly they're the decision maker.
  • *Their
  • I don't understand what's the big deal about Samsung not supporting WP. If its not selling for them they are under no obligation to continue throwing money at it. I get it we love WP but clearly not everyone else does. Android is successful for Samsung. They should obviously throw the weight of their support there
  • The accusation is that they are sucking up Microsoft's resources (engineers) without actually being interested in seeing the platform succeed. They then flubbed the ATIV S release (first announced, last launched) and blamed carriers for not picking it up. The thing is in the US, Samsung dominated with the Focus on AT&T. They've given all of that up now, and one can't actually say they did anything to stop it.
  • Got your point. In Indonesia, the Ativ S is finally on pre-order basis on the largest retail chain services, Erafone.
    Very-very late compared to how HTC and Nokia works.
  • It doesn't appear they are sucking up resources for Windows Phone 9... from earlier. The only OEM's listed in testing are HTC and Nokia.
  • *sigh* that's a job listing...
  • This might ring true if MS was small, but since they're huge they can afford to lose a few resources without negatively impacting the product. WP8 is where it is because of decisions Microsoft has made.
     
    Samsung, like others, have lost faith in WP because it wasn't successful for two years.
  • Regardless of company size, resources are always limited. Any deviation from that rule is how large company become obsolete.
  • Another thing to add is that people have said WP8 was released before it was actually ready.  Was it because of Samsung?
     
    Just a thought.  Don't know if that's true, but I've seen that in certian news articles.
  • EVen if it were true that WP8 was released before it was actually ready (which I vehemently disagree with), what has that got to do with AllThingsD's contention that Samsung is purposely gobbling up MS resources to impede WP success?!!
     
    And yes, I do agree Samsung is doing it as a strategy so it would be easier for Tizen to break into the market with a weak WP platform. With Google-Samsung relationship beginning to grow sour, they need the success of Tizen so Samsung could become an even stronger player in the mobile market. But I also believe it's a purely business decision and nothing personal about it.
     
    I am also of the opinion that if Tizen fails, Samsung will be turning back to MS' WP just so it can provide a counterbalance and hedge to Google's Android.
  • It'll be too little too late. They had their chance and the only US WP 8 phone they released was a junker Odyssey. It was like, "we have some old Charges left in a some crates from a couple years ago, throw WP on them and ship them out." They wouldn't even release the ATIV S in the US. It has all the appearances of a contemptuous marketing decision. Screw 'em. When the 928 hits Verizon, I'm leaving Samsung and not looking back. Nokia will have to majorly screw up and I don't really see that happening.
  • Who is at fault if SMSNG is "sucking" up resource? SMSNG for trying or MSFT for allowing. Don't ask don't get is my philosophy.
  • At our family we are still rocking samsung wp, first and second generation, but now ready to move towards Nokia...
    I do really believe they want to push tizen, as bada never really gained traction for them, so global domination won't come at support from google, but theirs one...
  • Its a little more complicated than that. Aside from the direct costs associated with engineering support on the part of MS, there is the patent deal they agreed to a year or so back. When MS and Samsung hammered out a licensing agreement, you can bet that Samsung promised certain level of commitment to WP to get a better price on Microsofts IP portfolio. The fact that I still don't see ATIV S in any US stores tells me that they aren't keeping up their end of the bargain.
  • Dude were did Yu get your grades cuse you might wana go back to grade 1 to start over why ? Yur comment = epic fail :)
  • One might look at your comment and might suggest the same. 
  • Can you retype your post in English please, most of us here don't understand idiot
  • hahahahhahahaha..........
  • Dude if I ever see you comment like I'm gonna throw a dictionary at your face next time
  • I think so... It is as you guys state, they make amazing phones on their androids but for windows phone half-ass it now. Also, I don't think that's a very smart move on their part, are they seriously trying to become public enemy number one or something? It's dumb lol
  • samsung is right, it is the carriers. if ANYONE is trying to sabotage Windows Phone it's them!
  • No one is trying to sabotage anything, the guilty party is piss poor publicity and a 3 year delay in entering the market. That's the problem. Too late to the game. I love the os but i also make excuses because i love it for its short comings people want the finished product and at the moment wp8 isn't it. Our time will come "THE DAY OF RECKONING IS UPON US". Am i taking this too seriously haha.
  • You notice no difference between how Samsung is treating the platform/innovation now versus when Windows Phone launched? Because I sure as hell do. It seems more than obvious that Samsung is just not trying to sell these phones.
  • so whats Msofts opinion bout this?
  • MS will never state their opinion publicly against an OEM.
  • You forget that ms is dumb.... lol
  • Yeah, but when WP7 launched, Samsung's Galaxy brand wasn't nearly as strong as it is today. They've found profits in Android, but their Focus/Ativ lines never really took off. I don't think it's surprising that they're not pushing Windows Phone anymore when they're doing very well with Android.
  • Lol dude Yu might wana check the news cuse u don't know shit hell my grandma knows better than you -_-
  • How old are you? seriously you need to type in a laguage people can undestand.
  • Wait what? not a finished product? Tell me a reason why WP isn't a finished product and I can tell you the same things apply to Android and iOS. And since you only mentioned about the OS, don't use the ecosystem bullsheed as the reason.
  • There is a difference between not bothering to sell phones and have a negative impact on the sales of phones. They just ain't arsed simple.
  • I think this is over analyzing a touch. They just don't think its going to succeed, they have a decent income with android and wp8 is an experiment, they have publicly denounced windows 8 so that shows they don't believe. Nokia all the way they are invested. I have said it before. They are doing Shit!!!!!!!
  • I totally agree with. Samsung are doing amazingly with Droid, so they are not going to tinker with that working plan unless they really need to. Sabotage is doubtful
  • They "renounced" windows rt, not Windows 8. big difference.
  • I agree big difference, because i ahve an RT. But is that a difference that Joe public can differentiate do u think???? NOOOOOOOOO. Who's fault is that do you think. How many people buy an iPad thinking it is a Mac?
  • I read an article recently and its said Samsung executives blamed the slowing pc market on Windows 8. Full windows not rt. They don't seem to be fans of Microsoft at the moment.
  • The one they denounced was Windows 8 as in laptop/ultrabook. Typically blamed others when they don't even bother advertising. I've seen windows 8 ads here on Indonesia. But never seen any ads from OEMs about their products. So who's fault was that?
  • This is why Nokia and Microsoft should just partner exclusively on WP. Nokia is solidly behind the OS with no other interest but to see it succeed, something that cant be said of any other OEM with interests in android. Do it now before its too late!
  • Why would MSFT partner exclusively with Nokia they can do that and others and still rake it in. Nokia (and a brief moment of HTC) show promise Nokia is well and truly all in. HTC isn't that's the diff. I commend them all for having a go. Its MSFT that need to listen to our winging and moaning.
  • Simple, because Nokia is doing their best for WP all across the board, from low to high end and pushing the OS constantly unlike someone like HTC who doesn't seem interested in doing the same and favors android with their best tech, same as Samsung.
  • MS going exclusively with Nokia would be a very bad move for the sake of variety and choice. They'd end up getting being exactly like Apple & RIM, which is what they don't want. I wish MS would allow OEMs to use NVIDIA and TI chips for even more variety but hey, that's a pipe dream.
  • You go to be kidding with this comment! NOKIA is definitely giving themselves a name by what they are doing with the platform, no questions there, but HTC does have a a good standing on WP8. Just look at how many carriers have the 8X versus those that have a high end Nokia... Samsung WP8 is not even present in the US...
  • Samsung will fail!
  • Really????
  • Yurp! Just you watch.
  • Isn't it "Yarp"....
  • Thought it was "Yerp"
  • Nokia has a better shot at failing.
  • disagree nokia has made all the right choices and from a company that had no clear smartphone strategy to where they are today is proof of that. I moved away from samsung after my omnia7 to nokia with first a lumia 900 and now the lumia 920 both fantastic phones and my girlfriend has a lumia 800 and loves it too.
  • Can't see that happening any time soon
  • SMSNG wont fail, they are already succeeding that's why the ain't doing Shit, if android fails SMSNG will change. But then and only then.
  • Samsung may be doing this intentionally but it may also be a case of how incompetant and lucky they are.  Android is pure trash and Samsung came in at the right time with the right marketing to counter the iphone - so every android fan went to samsung's devices.  Samsung in my opinion has 'okay' build quality but are more about producing the lowest cost device with emphasis on specs and bling'd out UI regardless how laggy it is.
    Samsung may switch to tizen but they probably would be better off forking Android and making it the basis of a new OS, allowing back compatilbity with the app catalog but getting rid of google as the architect.
    I think Samsung also knows what the sentiment is in the WP crowd - that the majority of WP fans are flocking to Nokia, just like android fans flocked to samsung.  Trying to reverse this right now makes no sense to Samsung, they may want to see if any huge marketshare arrives to WP and then counter with galaxy type devices in the WP market - trying to fight early on may win a few victories but for such a small population of buyers it may not make sense to go 'all in' just yet.
  • that actually makes alot of sense. Lol
  • I think stating android is "pure trash" is a bit of a misnomer, its doing a job, all sorts of OEMs are embracing it. It works, it is however "shit" in my eyes. (Not the same kind of "Shit" that Nokia are doing. (Note small "s" means its bad, big "S" means good.) at the end of the day its MSFT that need to listen. After that we will cme out on top because its secure, stable and damn right sexy in comparison to all the rest. (note small "s" of sexy as its still a phone and not a "S" which is how i would describe my misses.
  • Your point about waiting until Nokia (and to an extent HTC) make the WP market bigger, much like Motorola & HTC did for Android, to strike with a Galaxy type device is actually makes a bit of sense. I can agree with that.
  • This actually makes sense. Samsung is not a bad company but many of their products (including phones) have a "meh" or Okay quality and that fact alone keeps me from buying many Samsung products. At least HTC, which could do better in customer support, makes higher quality phones in my opinion...
  • Chuck 'em out Microsoft, make them pay those higher patent licensing fees.
  • Look at all that blue :D
  • I agree! Samsung has drop the ball they are starting to pull some of their Samsung Ativ Smart PC's I used them they are a great devie. First Samsung way to wrap up in Android which is fine since allot of their income coming from there but it would be good for them to do things with WP8 as well and Win8 as well. Just gets more of their devices out the but they have not marketed the Windows Platform very well most people don't even know they have those other devices. Too me here of late Samsung seems to be sitting around milking the Galaxy name not really coming up with new ideas or designs so forth.  So over all I think they are getting close to reaching their peak to where HTC and Nokia will keep going up with new things and trying to come out with devices that meet everyone needs in that they are making mid range and high end devices.  Which gives folks more options to choose from and really good designs so forth I can see Nokia and HTC keep going up over the next couple of months into next year. Which means they both could easily surpass Samsung.  :)
  • I really don't think it's the carriers they normally sabotage a complete os not the phone.
  • I don't know if Samsung is purposely trying to sabotage the WP but it remains the very good mobile operating system and perhaps Nokia is doing justice with it.
  • I dont really see samsung promoting wp8..is like they dont care and it makes alot of sense what the article said..i dont really like plastics phone...im cool with nokia and htc
  • um.... >.> <.< ^.^ nokias and htcs are made from plastic as well ^_^
  • You know what i mean, besides look at the htc titan and others htc phone...there's no way compare to the cheap plastic use by samsung.
  • give you that samsung does use a much cheaper plastic than nokia and htc and htcs more industrial designed phones were much higher quality than anything samsung has put out. though i still say the ATIV S is a awesome looking phone.