While developing the user interface of the first Galaxy Fold, Samsung and Google met to discuss the beginnings of Android 12L. The company Mountain Verify then asked the company Seoul for a valuable commitment: one smartphone per year.
Let’s go back in time to conclude Samsung’s adventure with foldable smartphones. Between 2014 and 2019, the release date of the first Galaxy Fold, the Seoul-based company worked hard on its prototypes, and the UI department responsible for the user interface had only one goal in mind: to try at all costs not to confuse future users Smartphone with a tablet.
In this passionate search, Samsung met with Google as Android manager to present a prototype. That’s what Yoojin Hong, Vice President and General Manager of Samsung and Head of UX Team of Mobile eXperience Industry, Samsung Electronics, told us. The manager, who met at IFA 2022 during a roundtable with international media, told us about these first talks between the two giants. These show in part why Samsung struggles to launch foldable smartphones every year.
“Are you going to keep going every year? “
“Every time we have a new form factor, we have to work with Google. ‘ Asks the manager. The exchange is first and foremost about enthusiasm. “I remember when we had our very first conversation with the Google product team and the Samsung product team, managers, software developers, etc. Everyone at the table started out very excited about to talk about this project. And as a developer, it was a very nice feeling, it was full of fervor, full of “Wow, that’s great”. It was exciting because at the time we had the feeling that we were working on a real innovation.
Then, still according to Yoojin Hong, Google finally asked Samsung for a very big commitment. “From Google’s point of view, this was a very big investment. There is a cost to deploying all the APIs, upkeep, and the whole partnership itself, isn’t there? So they were keen to have Samsung’s involvement. »
And so much to tell you that it’s not funny when Google asks for a promise: “Are we going to keep making this phone every year? It was her question. It was obviously very complicated to answer them, we are talking about technology. We had no idea what was going to happen in the year we shipped the device, something crazy could happen, everything was in such a way that it’s just easier to judge. But we are fully committed, we have decided to say that we will get through these difficulties and overcome them. So we said we’re going to do that. We made a commitment at that meeting. It was a nice feeling to say: ‘Yes, we’ll do it!’ , the engineer says, laughing.
When asked about the presence of other brands at the table, Yoojin Hong responds: “Ask Google” , she lets go, still joking . Getting back to her seriousness, Samsung’s vice president insists that “been able to make important layout decisions as the first to move. “
What can be interpreted from the request by Google
We are in front of an exchange of best practices here, Google is asking Samsung to produce a Fold for a year (the Flip wasn’t on the table back then) in exchange for Samsung being able to produce the then Getting our hands on beginnings of Android 12L If there are no doubt other factors that have prompted Samsung to release one Fold a year (the train of first launch and the desire to make it in a future strategic market, or the principle of annual Update of a series), We understand, given this statement, that without the insistence of another actor, neither more nor less than Google, the story could have gone very differently.
We can wonder what Samsung exchanges for Google publishes one-fold per year. One can only judge better that the company Mountain Verify Samsung wanted to use as a locomotive in this market. Who was better positioned than the number one smartphone provider? Another option might be that, like with the Galaxy Uncover 4 and Galaxy Uncover 5, which served as a test balloon for OS 3, Google wanted to make sure Samsung wiped the plaster off its own flap before launching the yet-to-be-announced Google Pixel Notepad. Some might also see it as a sign of a player in a monopoly (non-Apple) region who can afford to enforce that kind of decision.