In a significant development, Samsung Electronics Co Ltd is weighing options vis-a-vis Bixby, its virtual assistant and Galaxy Apps Store, which includes dropping them altogether from its mobile devices as part of a new global revenue-sharing deal with Alphabet Inc’s Google.
The development comes in the wake of Google trying since years to get Samsung to drop its own services platform and instead join its Assistant and Play Store apps, said a source previously involved in the relationship.
At times, Google, provides an incentive to manufacturers to join its platforms through ad revenue sharing. All these years, Samsung has promoted its own apps and app store despite years of glitches and tepid user interest.
The turnaround in its strategy comes in the wake of a slowdown in the smartphone market with consumer slowing down the pace of phone upgrades, which have resulted in slowing sales and prompted many companies to shutter expensive money burning projects and search for new revenue streams.
While the financial details of the negotiation have yet to be disclosed, it is likely that Google is dangling lucrative terms for Samsung to abandon its platform and join that of Google, said a source familiar with the talks.
The companies are aiming to finalize terms by Friday, said the source.
In a statement Samsung said, it is committed to its own services, but that at the same time it “closely works with Google and other partners to offer the best mobile experiences.”
In a statement Google said, it regularly discusses ways to improve the user experience with partners and that Samsung remains free to create its own app store and digital assistant.