Google and Samsung in Talks on Prioritizing Assistant Over Bixby

Google is reportedly holding talks with Samsung to give more prominence to the U.S. tech giant’s services on Samsung smartphones compared to its functionalities and features. These discussions are a part of the latest global revenue-sharing deal between the two organizations. The talks are being held to prioritize Google Assistant over Samsung’s Bixby, reports Bloomberg.

The Korean based manufacturer is, by far, one of the largest smartphone manufacturers across the world. It is also one of the top-rated Android-handset manufacturers in the U.S. All of us are well aware that all Samsung phones make use of Google’s operating systems. These phones have a lot of Google-based apps, including the Google play store. Parallelly, Samsung has even promoted its Bixby voice assistant along with the Galaxy Store in all of its smartphones. Samsung had gone to the extent of providing dedicated buttons on its hardware to encourage users to make use of Bixby.

Before this, Google and Samsung reportedly had some differences of opinion over the latter’s Android customizations post, which Samsung made some changes in its TouchWiz interface back in 2014. Although it does seem that Google was not very happy with Samsung back then, it looks like this time, Samsung will not get convinced very soon. The details of the pact between Google and Samsung are yet to be revealed. Bloomberg has further stated that Google has signed a multi-billion-dollar pact with Apple, which states that Google would be the default search engine on its iPhone’s Safari browser. 

Furthermore, reports are coming in that Google has joined other tech firms to convince the U.S. lawmakers that it is not trying to show off its power in any manner. Google’s play store and default services on Android smartphones have earned a sense of being antitrust, and checks are being conducted for the same. A deal with Samsung could weaken Google’s argument when it states that Android platforms give way to a lot of competition. 

When contacted, a Google spokesperson stated that “Samsung remains committed to our ecosystem and services. At the same time, Samsung closely works with Google and other partners to offer the best mobile experiences for our users.” He further went on to say, “Like all Android device makers, Samsung is free to create its app store and digital assistant,” a Google spokesperson says. “That’s one of the great features of the Android platform. And while we regularly talk with partners about ways to improve the user experience, we have no plans to change that.”

Source

If this deal gets finalized, Samsung would have to do away with some of its services on its Android phones. Samsung’s Bixby assistant has not received a very great response compared to Google’s voice assistant. Researcher IDC states that Samsung has made sales of about 58 million smartphones in the first quarter. However, the Covid-19 crisis has caused a drastic decline in handset sales. Owing to these issues, the company has been looking towards other revenue means. 

Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google and Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, is set to appear before a U.S. congressional antitrust panel on Wednesday for discussions regarding the antitrust allegations.

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