Samsung Electronics is considering removing its Bixby virtual assistant and Galaxy Apps Store from its mobile devices as part of a proposed global revenue-sharing agreement with Google’s parent company, Alphabet.
Google has been trying for years to get Samsung, the world’s leading mobile device manufacturer by units sold, to remove its own services and give Google’s search, Assistant and Play Store apps greater prominence, according to a person previously involved in the partnership.
The search giant, whose Android software features Samsung phones and dozens of other firms, sometimes as an incentive gives manufacturers a portion of the ad revenue earned from Google apps on their devices
Yet Samsung has continued its attempts to promote its own applications, from which it can earn all the money, in spite of facing years of glitches and tepid interest from users.
sIn recent months, however, the strategy has been questioned, as the novel coronavirus pandemic and a slowdown in phone upgrades have harmed revenues and forced many businesses to shut down expensive ventures and pursue new revenue sources.
Though precise financial specifics under negotiation between the firms are not clear sources familiar with the matter says that Google is offering more lucrative terms for Samsung than in previous transactions, for it to retreat from its app strategy. The companies plan to finalize terms by Friday, the source said.
In a statement, Samsung said it is committed to its own offerings, but that at the same time it “works closely with Google and other partners to deliver the best mobile experiences.”
Google said in a statement that it constantly explores ways to boost the user experience with partners and that Samsung remains free to develop its own app store and digital assistant.