Samsung’s been in the smartwatch game a bit longer than most. The company’s already on its second version of the Galaxy Gear, announced this past spring at MWC, and now has a third Gear running on Google’s Android Wear platform. However, it seems Google is none too pleased that Samsung is spending so much time on its own proprietary system. According to The Information, Google CEO Larry Page met with Samsung last week to voice his frustrations.
The Information cites three sources that say Page told Samsung VP Jay Y. Lee he was frustrated by the fact that Samsung was spending more on its own Tizen OS than those running Android Wear. What’s more, it seems Google is annoyed that Samsung jumped the gun with the Galaxy Gear line of products. Google had apparently asked Samsung to hold off on wearables until Android Wear was ready for launch, but Samsung refused.
Samsung currently has three watches running Tizen, the Galaxy Gear 2, Galaxy Gear Neo and the original Galaxy Gear, since updated from Android. The company also has the Gear Fit which, while offering a smattering of smartwatch features, doesn’t run either operating system. Instead, Samsung has opted for an RTOS in exchanged for longer battery life. An Android version of the Gear smartwatch debuted at Google I/O but Samsung seems determined to press on with Tizen as well as Android Wear.
Though Google allows for custom UIs or skins on Android phones, the company has already said OEMs won’t be allowed to customize Android Wear. The decision is supposed to promote a consistent experience across all Android Wear devices, so perhaps Google is worried Samsung’s ongoing focus on its Tizen devices will confuse customers just now exploring this new genre of devices.