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Samsung announces shift from Android to Windows 8 for new generation tablet

Sam­sung is jump­ing ship, shift­ing from Google’s Android OS in favor of Microsoft’s Win­dows OS.

The changeover was on dis­play at the Euro­pean elec­tron­ics trade show in Berlin this week, when the South Kore­an mobile leviathan unveiled two new Win­dows-pow­ered gadgets.

Show­cas­ing a gleam­ing new 10.1‑inch tablet run­ning on Win­dows RT and a 5.8‑inch Win­dows 8‑based smart­phone, the com­pa­ny announced that the devices will be on sale lat­er this year, although no prices or dates were released.  But mobile adver­tis­ing agen­cies are gear­ing up for a busy sea­son in lieu of the announcement.

Why the shift from Android?  Just men­tion­ing those two names in the same sen­tence hints at the answer.  As the Wall Street Jour­nal reports, last week’s U.S. fed­er­al court ver­dict was bruis­ing for Sam­sung not sim­ply because it land­ed a wal­lop­ing $1.05 bil­lion for dam­ages on the firm, but because it wiped an eye-water­ing $12 bil­lion off the share val­ue, as investors got twitchy over the pos­si­bil­i­ty of anoth­er law­suit cen­ter­ing on its flag­ship smartphone.

Sam­sung seems to believe that the rul­ing has spot­light­ed Android users in gen­er­al.  Google stock prices have also dropped because of the asso­ci­a­tion with Android, although expert ana­lyst Wayne Rash has dis­missed the court rul­ing as the non­sen­si­cal ver­dict of a bewil­dered and con­fused jury.

Android has undoubt­ed­ly been good for Sam­sung, enabling it to over­take its rivals Apple and Nokia in the glob­al smart­phone mar­ket in the sec­ond quar­ter of 2012, when it claimed a 32.6 per cent share to Apple’s fee­bler 16.9 per cent and Nokia’s com­par­a­tive­ly pal­try 6.6 per cent.  Well over half of the company’s $6 bil­lion sec­ond quar­ter prof­its came from the sale of smartphones.

Despite this, the switch to Win­dows leaves Sam­sung with a steep climb ahead – opin­ion amongst ana­lysts appears to be that, with demand for Win­dows 8 prod­ucts remain­ing so low, there’ll be lit­tle sign of any near-term gains.

The switchover to Microsoft isn’t total, how­ev­er.  An Android-based suc­ces­sor to the Galaxy Note is in the pipeline, con­tin­u­ing the fusion of phone and tablet into a “phablet” device.  This was the device that stuck in Apple’s craw and prompt­ed lit­i­ga­tion, large­ly because it believed Sam­sung bla­tant­ly copied the design from the iPhone and iPad.

What­ev­er else hap­pens, mobile adver­tis­ing is about to see some very inter­est­ing times.


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