Smartwatches Drive New Wedge Between Samsung, Google

Tensions between Google and Samsung are escalating again—this time over wearables.

Last week, in a tense private meeting at the Allen & Co. conference in Sun Valley, Google CEO Larry Page told Samsung Vice Chairman Jay Y. Lee that he was frustrated Samsung was investing more in smartwatches running Samsung’s Tizen operating system than in smartwatches running Google’s Android Wear software, according to three people briefed on the conversations.

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A Samsung spokesman did not have a comment, and a Google spokeswoman did not return requests for comment.


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Mr. Page’s irritation over Samsung’s wearables strategy leaves Samsung in a tough spot. Samsung executives say they are extraordinarily reluctant to aggravate Google, yet they remain concerned about their dependence on Android and ability to differentiate on top of it.