The recent mess that Samsung created with the Note 7 is not going to go away any time soon and so it is likely that the phone, and possibly the Note brand, will be extinguished to be never seen again.
With Samsung being the dominant Android player, this is a problem and one that could have very serious consequences down the line. However, this is Samsung we are talking about and so the sales of fridges, cameras, ovens and all of the other products they make should continue as they have in the past. Phones and tablets may be hugely profitable, but Samsung has other things to fall back on and so will survive.
And the same applies to Sony and LG. Phone sales have not been good, but ultimately they ‘should’ have the people in place to steer them on another course if needed. A simplistic way of looking at it, yet, but one that is still true.
HTC? Nowhere to go really and circling the drain as we speak alongside BlackBerry. Which one will be flushed first remains to be seen.
Google? Well, it would appear that Google is now thinking that making both the hardware and software will make for a much better experience (sure another company has been doing that for some time…) and with this comes the possibility of new innovations going to its own hardware first. This in turn makes the Android positions for Samsung, Sony and rest somewhat less powerful and so the circle continues within a fragmented platform that always seems to be technically ahead, but always still playing catch up.
The more I look, the more I read and the more I hear from people I know, the iPhone as a brand and as a product is bit by bit becoming the leader in terms of perception. For Google to touch it, devices like the Pixel need to be built and possibly devices like the Note and Galaxy need to not be so popular. It is possible that we will have a two-course race in the mobile world soon. No more Android vs. iOS, but Google vs. Apple.