When Samsung and Google announced in October last year Android 12L , a version of the operating system specifically for large-screen devices, the terms of the negotiation between the two giants were not clear. Now, the South Koreans have revealed that the Mountain View company required Samsung to produce one foldable a year to work on the OS specific to foldables and tablets .
The information was disclosed in an interview by Samsung’s vice president, Yoojin Hong, to the Frandroid website , during IFA 2022 in Berlin. The subject was about how the negotiations with Google went for the creation of a suitable OS for the first foldable of the South Korean manufacturer , launched in 2019 . The executive said the initial conversations were filled with “enthusiasm”.
“And as a developer, it was a really good feeling, full of passion, full of ‘wow, this is amazing.’ It was exciting because we felt like we were working on a real innovation at the time ,” Hong said.
What did Google ask for in return for Android 12L?
Source: Samsung/Disclosure.Source: Samsung
Google highlighted that providing specific application programming interfaces (APIs) as well as maintenance would be a big commitment on their part. So it asked Samsung for a similar level of commitment before starting work . And what Americans wanted was for Samsung to commit to producing one new foldable a year .
At first the Korean executives froze: “Are we going to continue to produce this phone every year?”, they asked themselves. But, even in doubt about how the device would be receptive to consumers, they made the required commitment. “It felt good, you know, to say ‘yes, let’s do it!’” Hong said.
But the big question – why did Google ask Samsung for this? – has not been clarified. As Big Tech is rumored to be working on developing its own foldable, it is possible that the Americans used the South Koreans to test the market.
Currently, Samsung is the leader in the foldable cell phone sector with the Galaxy Z line. According to March data, the company owns “only” 88% of this market segment .