Over the past few years, Samsung (SSNLF.PK) has done an undeniably great job at getting Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android operating system a dominant share of the smartphone market. While Samsung deserves a pat on the back, Google’s is now worried the Korean company may want a bit more, and may have leverage in trying to get it.
Samsung pushed past other manufacturers last year to become the largest smartphone maker in the world, capturing 39.6 percent of the global market. That equated to 215.8 million smartphones — compared to Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) 136.8 million iPhones.
Almost all of Samsung’s sales were Android devices, and given its global position, it makes sense that the company is the largest user of the Google software. Nearly 40 percent of Android smartphones are made by Samsung, and now the company has taken the lead for Android tablets as well, rising to 27.9 percent as Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) falls to 21.8 percent.
The relationship between Google and Samsung is important to both sides. For Google, the widespread net of Android reels in some $8 billion annually — though some of that comes from ads displayed on Apple devices as well. For Samsung, Android powers the smartphones that brought in an estimated $60 billion last year — a third of Samsung’s total revenue.
Google’s concern is that Samsung might want a bigger slice of the pie because of how valuable it has proven as an Android distributor…