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

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central. He is also the head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007, when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and watches. He has been reviewing laptops since 2015 and is particularly fond of 2-in-1 convertibles, ARM processors, new form factors, and thin-and-light PCs. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.