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Samsung's Got Plans to Take Down Apple

Stocks in this article: AAPL GOOG

Recently, there was also a rumor to the effect that Motorola (MMI) is working on some form of a cloud OS for future smartphones. Samsung did not confirm that it is using Chrome OS for this future smartphone, but it said it's at least considering it. My sense is that at a minimum Samsung is working on its own smartphone cloud OS, perhaps re-purposing its Bada OS engineers away from that relatively poorly-performing OS.

This will be extremely interesting, especially if Google does indeed come out with its own Chrome OS for smartphones. Keep in mind that multiple members of the former Danger (which was acquired by Microsoft (MSFT) in early 2008 for $500 million) management team joined Google over the last year, and they are used to making smartphone hardware (remember the Sidekick?), at least in conjunction with contract manufacturers. This could mean that Google may decide to make its own smartphone hardware -- not based on Android, but instead built on a version of Chrome OS.

Just like Chrome OS is poised to take over the PC space with the initial commercial offerings from Samsung and Acer hitting the market in seven countries on June 15, it is clear to me that the future for smartphones and tablets is also to be found in a cloud OS.

Furthermore, it is also clear to me that Google is best positioned to come up with an OS for this, just like it has done for the traditional PC form factors in the case of the Chrome OS Chromebooks.

Therefore, if Samsung and perhaps also Motorola now will both be making their own cloud operating systems, we are truly in for an excited but fragmented world. Or are we? Steve Jobs himself, and the mantra from at least half of Google, is that HTML5 is the future of what will glue the computing experience together. Basically, in this "pure cloud" world with HTML5 as the ruling web architecture, the OS becomes basically invisible to the end user and therefore essentially ceases to matter. All that matters are the Web apps, which in turn raises the question of who will take advantage of that layer.

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