English to Chinese: How Samsung Ate The Smartphone Industry General field: Other Detailed field: IT (Information Technology)
Source text - English Like Dr. Frankenstein tinkering around in his labs, Google has created a monster. And now that monster is running amok, terrorizing the smartphone industry and possibly even endangering the livelihood of its creator.
Google, through its Android operating system and favorable partnership, has enabled Samsung to become the most dominant smartphone maker in the world. The Korean maker of Galaxies shipped nearly 215 million smartphones in 2012, or about 40% of the global market. In its wake, Samsung has left a string of wrecked competition, lawsuits and an extraordinarily impressive long tail of Android-powered devices.
According to a report in the the Wall Street Journal, Google is concerned about Samsung’s dominance among Android smartphone manufacturers. Samsung’s power position could enable it to negotiate more favorable terms from Google for mobile advertising revenue, allow it to install more of its own custom-built apps on its smartphones and tablets (in turn, marginalizing Google’s own apps) or completely fork Android (like Amazon did with the Kindle Fire) to cut Google out of the picture entirely.
Google has reason to be worried. It is not the only one that should be.
Take stock of the smartphone industry. What do you see? Since mid-2011, two companies have subjugated the market and left almost everybody else crippled and struggling. Samsung is the first and Apple is the second. Almost all other companies, at this point, are a bit players.
One of Google’s chief concerns is that Samsung is squeezing other viable Android manufacturers out of business. Google has relished in the growth of Android overall, but it has primarily come on the back of Samsung for the last two years. Look at the plight of Motorola and HTC and you can see the effects.
Motorola had what was perhaps the first popular Android smartphone with the original Droid on Verizon in 2009. The device sold reasonably well and became an instant favorite for many regular consumers and tech geeks that did not jive with Apple’s iPhone. The next popular smartphone to hit Android, and really the one that jumpstarted Google’s mobile ascendancy, was the HTC Evo. The Evo was one of the first smartphones that introduced consumers to the concept of “4G” (even though it was not technically 4G with WiMax connectivity) and big screens. HTC followed the Evo with the Nexus One and the Droid Incredible, creating momentum that would make it the darling of the smartphone industry at the time.
That was 2010. Samsung had just released its first major Android smartphone, the Galaxy S, on the four major carriers in the United States and was considered late to the Android party. At the time, smartphone manufacturers tended to distribute devices to individual carriers with exclusive partnerships (iPhone on AT&T, HTC Evo on Sprint, Incredible on Verizon).
Samsung smashed that model and didn’t look back.
To deploy its new Galaxy line, Samsung worked with the carriers to individualize each device to the carrier's desires. For instance, the Galaxy S Captivate on AT&T was slightly different from the Fascinate on Verizon. Essentially though, it was the same phone. Then the flood came. Like a Big Bang, Samsung poured Galaxies across the known universe (in this case, across the world). Galaxies came in varieties of size and shape, price and quality. And Samsung just cranked them out.
The rest of the Android industry did not quite know what hit them and by mid-2011, when the Galaxy S II came out, it was too late to stanch the Samsung flood. The S II was widely considered the best Android smartphone of the year (and depending on your perspective of the iPhone 4S, the best smartphone of the year) and sold accordingly. In the meantime, HTC sputtered with follow ups to its earlier successes with big bets on poor devices, like the Thunderbolt. Motorola, while innovative with Best Of CES 2011 winner Atrix, could not scale to compete with Samsung. By the end of the summer of 2011, Google snapped up Motorola and its patents for $12 billion.
Samsung has continued its shotgun approach while releasing new flagships in the Galaxy S III, the Galaxy Note and Note II along with two Google-sponsored Nexus devices in the Galaxy Nexus and Nexus S.
Samsung’s rise did not just bowl over would-be Android competitors. The entire smartphone industry was put on alert. The most vulnerable players started dropping first.
Tops on the target list where the most entrenched smartphone players of the previous decade: Research In Motion (now BlackBerry) and Nokia. This is the land from which Apple and Samsung started carving out their empires. The iPhone was the biggest bane to BlackBerry, stealing marketshare in the company’s stronghold of North America and Western Europe and eating into its enterprise and government base of consumers. In turn, Samsung focused on dethroning Nokia as the top cellphone manufacturer in the world.
In early 2011, new Nokia CEO Stephen Elop wrote his famous “burning platform” memo. Among other things, Elop stated:
“Chinese OEMs are cranking out a device much faster than, as one Nokia employee said only partially in jest, ‘the time that it takes us to polish a PowerPoint presentation.’ They are fast, they are cheap, and they are challenging us.”
Elop was partially right. The Asian manufacturers were eating Nokia’s breakfast (and lunch and dinner). The likes of ZTE, Huawei and LG were iterating and deploying faster than Nokia could dream of and have since set up their own feudal empires within the Land of Android. But Nokia’s biggest threat did not come from China. It came from South Korea.
First, Samsung was able to overtake Nokia in the smartphone sector with its cadre of Galaxy devices in late 2011. That was not an extraordinary achievement, considering that Nokia had failed to create anything worthwhile to compete with the iPhone and Android in years. Next, Samsung overtook Nokia’s hold on the entire cellphone industry as “feature” phones (non-smartphones) declined in marketshare and Nokia’s strength in emerging markets began to wane in late 2012. While Nokia puttered around, thought of its next moves and eventually turned to Microsoft and Windows Phone, Samsung went for the jugular.
HTC, Nokia, Motorola, BlackBerry… all withered in the face of the Samsung storm. To varying degrees, Samsung outmaneuvered them in innovation, features, user experience, distribution, advertising and marketing. That left only one smartphone maker capable of challenging Samsung on a global scale.
To its credit, Apple recognized early that Samsung represented the biggest threat to its burgeoning mobile empire. In an attempt to slow down Samsung (and to a lesser degree other Android manufacturers), it went to the courts armed with a portfolio of patents.
We can talk all we want about Apple CEO Steve Jobs and his “thermonuclear war” against Android for being a “stolen product.” History shows us that iOS and Android were developed by Apple and Google almost at the same time in Cupertino and Mountain View starting around 2003. Apple can attempt to take the moral high ground all it wants. In reality, Apple’s patent cases against Samsung were a tactic to curb the explosive growth of the Galaxy.
Many people in the tech punditry begrudged Apple for its bullying patent litigation. Maybe they should actually thank Apple for being a much-needed check on Samsung’s expanding empire. In turn, Samsung has provided a check on Apple.
Either way, what we are left with is the current duopoly of smartphone manufacturers. And that is bad for business.
Google may not have precisely created the Samsung monster, but it did enable it to become what it is today. And now Google looks on the behemoth and shakes with fear.
What can Google do? In many ways, a strong Samsung is the best friend that Google can have. Samsung spurs Android adoption and pushes barriers of design and innovation. Yet, when Samsung starts cannibalizing the rest of the Android ecosystem, Google has a problem.
The answer will start, in part, with Motorola. Google has come to realize that the acquisition of the once-powerful cellphone maker has to be more than just the 17,000 patents in Motorola’s portfolio. Google would like nothing more than to start making Apple-like revenue with its own designed and built smartphones. To date though, we have not seen anything from Motorola following the Google acquisition that would excite consumers enough to ditch Samsung.
That may change in 2013. This is the year we will likely see the first Motorola Android devices that have been wholly designed with Google’s influence from start to finish. The codename rumor for this device is the Motorola X and it should, theoretically, be a much-needed departure from the Droid Razr devices that flopped after being announced in September 2012.
Google also has the opportunity to turn its marketing department loose to the benefit of Motorola and other Android manufacturers. Part of Samsung’s rise has been its clever and pervasive marketing for the Galaxy S and Note devices, especially when taking pot shots at Apple. Samsung’s marketing and advertising budget is huge in comparison with that of a company like HTC. If Google really wants to see other Android makers perform well, it needs to start offering auxiliary support in the advertising, marketing and developer sectors to raise the profile of non-Samsung alternatives.
That creates a quandary. If Google actively helps other Android manufacturers, it risks alienating Samsung and instigating all the potential pitfalls The Wall Street Journal reported Google fears.
The bigger question then becomes: can Google really do anything to control Android? It could not stop Amazon from forking the operating system and cutting Google out of the equation. Can it really do anything to hedge against Samsung dominance?
Translation - Chinese 就像不断在实验室修修补补的 Frankenstein 博士一样，谷歌创造了一个怪兽。而如今这个怪兽开始变得疯狂，不仅威胁到整个智能机业，并且使创造它的谷歌的生存也变得岌岌可危。
2009年，摩托罗拉拥有可能是第一个流行的安卓智能手机，Verizon的原始的 Droid。这款手机理所当然卖得不错，立即成为那些更苹果的 iPhone 并不合拍的普通消费者和技术极客的最爱。下一款带安卓系统的流行的智能手机是 HTC 的 Evo，这款手机才真正使谷歌在移动手机市场拥有一席之地。Evo 是第一款开始让消费者了解到“4G”和大屏概念的手机（尽管它技术上并不是真正的4G手机）。接下来 HTC 又推出了 Nexus One 和 Droid Incredible，创造了一股热潮，使它成为当时智能手机业的宠儿。
那是2010年，三星刚刚在北美的四个主要运营商发布了它的第一款安卓智能手机，Galaxy S，被认为是安卓阵营的后来者。那时，智能手机制造商倾向于对一个单独的拥有独一合作关系的运营商分发设备（iPhone on AT&T, HTC Evo on Sprint, Incredible on Verizon）。
三星为了部署它的Galaxy 产品线，与运营商合作，按他们的要求定制每一款手机。比如，AT&T 的 Galaxy S Captivate 与 Verizon 的 Fascinate 就稍有不同。但是它却确实是同一款手机。然后洪水就来了。像大爆炸一样，三星把 Galaxies（星系）带到我们所知的宇宙（带到了全世界）。Galaxy 系列有不同的尺寸和形状，不同的价格和质量。并且三星已把它们规模化制造出来。
其它的安卓制造商直到2011年中，Galaxy S II 出来，才知道是什么打败了他们，然而为时已晚，他们再也挡不住三星的洪流。S II 被广泛认为是当年最好的安卓手机（可能是最好的智能手机，取决于你对 iPhone 4S 的看法），也获得了相应的销售量。与此同时，HTC 在早期的成功之后下赌注于少量的产品，比如 Thunderbolt。摩托罗拉推出了 Atrix，它成为 CES 2011 的最佳产品，颇有创意，即便如此，它已无法与三星大规模竞争。2011年夏天结束时，谷歌以120亿美元收购了摩托罗拉和它的专利。
三星继续着它的霰弹枪方式，同时发布了新的旗舰产品： Galaxy S III, the Galaxy Note 和 Note II ，以及谷歌赞助的 Nexus系列：Galaxy Nexus 和 Nexus S。
2011年早期，新的诺基亚CEO Stephen Elop 写下了他著名的《燃烧的平台》，在其中他写道：“就如一位诺基亚员工半开玩笑地说，中国的OEM制造商制造出一款设备远远快于我们修饰一篇 PowerPoint 所花的时间。他们快，而且便宜，而且他们正在向我们挑战。”
开始，三星有能力在2011年末用它Galaxy 系列产品在智能手机部分赶超诺基亚。考虑到诺基亚已经有几年没办法创造出任何有价值的产品来对抗iPhone 和 安卓了，这不是什么超乎寻常的成绩。之后，由于非智能手机的市场比例下降，以及诺基亚在新兴市场的优势开始变弱，三星在2012年末赶超了诺基亚在整个手机业的份额。当诺基亚风雨飘摇，考虑着它的下一步棋，并最终投向了微软和 Windows Phone 时，三星攻向它的要害。
HTC, Nokia, Motorola, BlackBerry…全都在三星的风暴下萎缩。在不同的程度上，三星用策略在创新，特性，用户体验，分发，广告和市场方面胜过了他们。只剩下一个智能手机厂商有能力在全局范围挑战三星。
我们可以对苹果的CEO Steve Jobs 以及他认为安卓是一个“偷盗来的产品”，要用“热核战争”来对付安卓这一事件有不同看法。历史显示，在2003年附近，苹果和谷歌大约在同一时间在Cupertino 和 Mountain View开发 iOS 和安卓系统。苹果可以如他所愿占据道德高地。实际上，苹果对三星的专利案件是一个策略，用来限制Galaxy 的指数级增长。