There’s no doubt that Samsung is the biggest player in the Android world, with its Galaxy S series of phones constantly breaking sales records each year since the SII, but has their dominance started to hurt the rest of the Android ecosystem, especially with their selection of key Android apps being Samsung exclusives?
Overnight, Twitter announced its new tablet optimised Android app, exclusive for Samsung’s Galaxy Note 10.1 and it’s not the first big name app to be released as a Samsung exclusive – with other notable apps like Foxtel Go and Quickflix being Samsung exclusives in Australia as well as last years much anticipated Flipboard which was a Galaxy SIII exclusive.
I’ve seen this damage first-hand with a friend considering taking a dip into Android, but was so reliant on his Foxtel Go app on his iPhone that he couldn’t make the switch as the only Android device that supported it was the nearly 12-month old Galaxy SIII – so instead, in fear other key apps being missing and of course his Foxtel Go app definitely not being there he didn’t hesitate to renew his contract with an iPhone 5. Of course, my friend could have sideloaded the APK file onto any Android device, but he didn’t know how to do that, nor do most regular consumers.
This latest problem with Twitter could again push potential Android buyers away from an Android tablet and to an iPad. The Android tablet ecosystem suffers enough with its lacklustre quality tablet apps and this latest Twitter app could give the ecosystems quality as a whole some credibility, but by being a Samsung exclusive it’s doing nothing but hurting the user and the Android ecosystem.
Sure, most apps eventually lose their exclusivity, and it is probably a really good move business wise by Samsung – but at what cost?