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Android Person of the Year Nominee: Omar Khan

December 22, 2010 | by Andrew Kameka

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Omar Khan, Samsung Mobile
Chief Strategy Office, SVP of Products & Services

Nominated because:
He is the leader of a top Android phone seller

Samsung Mobile’s Android presence in 2009 was unforgettable – for all the wrong reasons. The Korean giant alienated many fans with promising but ultimately buggy phones that were all but abandoned by the company last year. But that didn’t slow down Omar Khan, Chief Strategy Officer and SVP of Products & Services at Samsung Mobile.

Rather than dwell on past mistakes, Khan ushered Samsung Mobile through a banner year in which it introduced the Hummingbird processor, turned heads at all major carriers with the Galaxy S, and is in the process of repeating that feat with the Galaxy Tab.

Khan’s credentials for Android Person of the Year are strong. As CSO and SVP at Samsung Mobile, he helped chart the company’s course in a year in which it sold more Android phones in the United States than any other manufacturer. Millions of people use the device that he has helped create, and the ideas of his team members will please or infuriate those consumers.

It’s not all Hummingbirds and sunshine for Khan, however. Samsung committed to keeping its Galaxy S phones on the latest software, but it has failed to distribute the Android 2.2 update before version 2.3 was announced. As much good will as the company has earned this year, it cannot afford to anger customers further with slow upgrade paths and persistent problems. 2011 will either be another year in which Khan takes Samsung to new heights or one in which it loses ground to rivals. For that reason – and his involvement in the next generation of Samsung phones and tablets – Khan’s influence on Android will clearly be felt.

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This article is part of a series of profiles on the people who most-impacted Android in 2010. Read more about the Android Person of the Year series here.