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Google and Samsung at odds over smartwatch strategies

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Samsung Gear Live

Google and Samsung are reportedly in disagreement over the immediate future of the smartwatch format.

The two tech giants, who have formed a formidable (if uneasy) partnership in the Android smartphone field, are said to have clashed over their different approaches to the rapidly emerging wearable market.

According to The Information, a "tense private meeting" was held between Google CEO Larry Page and Samsung vice chairman Jay Y. Lee at last week's Allen & Co. conference. Here Page informed Lee of his displeasure at Samsung's current approach to smartwatches.

The Google co-founder's frustration apparently stems from Samsung's greater investment in smartwatch hardware running its own unproven Tizen OS than in devices running Google's Android Wear software.

Samsung did provide a smartwatch device for Android Wear's launch at Google I/O recently, but the Samsung Gear Live is essentially a version of the Tizen-powered Samsung Gear 2 retooled to run on Android Wear.

All signs are pointing towards Samsung favouring Tizen for its smartwatch program over Android Wear. Three of its four smartwatches run on the platform, while the first of those - the Samsung Galaxy Gear - initially ran on a version of Android, but was later converted to run Tizen.

Google has become uncomfortably reliant on Samsung to produce and sell smartphone hardware for its Android OS, with the Korean company responsible for around two thirds of all Android devices sold. In recent years the company has made no attempt to hide the fact that it would like to fully harness that hardware dominance by breaking away with the partially self-developed Tizen platform.

With Android going from strength to strength on mobile phones and tablets, perhaps the brand new smartwatch frontier is where the world's biggest consumer tech company can really stretch its software legs. Just don't expect Google to like it.

Read More: Samsung Galaxy S5 review

Via: Business Insider

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