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Chinese government may regulate Google's Android for having too much control

post #1 of 39
Thread Starter 
China's technology ministry has published a document accusing Google's Android operating system of having too much control over the local market ??a statement that could hint the government plans to impose regulations.

The white paper, which was publicized by local media on Tuesday, said that China's "core technology roadmap is strictly controlled by Google." As noted by Reuters, it accuses the industry of being "too dependent on Android."

Flurry 1


The technology ministry goes on to suggest that Google has discriminated against some Chinese handset manufacturers bey delaying the sharing of open-source codes for the Android platform. Google has also been accused of using commercial agreements to block business development of mobile devices from Chinese manufacturers.

The Chinese government is known for stepping in to regulate when it can help domestic companies. Accordingly, the white paper is seen as a sign that industry regulations could be imposed against Android.

While the paper stands as a warning to Google, it came out in praise of Chinese companies including Huawei, Baidu, and Alibaba, which have created their own mobile operating systems.

China has become a crucial battleground for Google and Apple in the smartphone space, as the market recently surpassed the U.S. as the biggest market for the iPhone and handsets running Android. Given that China has four times the population of the U.S., it's not expected that China will relinquish that lead.
post #2 of 39
Already short Google as I hear people saying it will reach $1000= rally is over .
post #3 of 39

You mean they don't believe that Google does no evil?

 
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post #4 of 39

deleted


Edited by MacRulez - 7/21/13 at 4:27pm
post #5 of 39
Android dominance will suddenly go away if Samsung gets a good reception for its Tizen phone.
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post #6 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacRulez View Post

Does Google have more control over Android that Apple does over iOS?

 

The real difference is that Apple has never pretended that iOS is 'open' (in the sense that others can license it and use it freely in competing products).

 

The problem the Chinese government (and others) have with Android is that it's open until you try to do something which could undercut Google's advertising revenue.  At that point they tend to use 'Android compatibility' to try and stifle competition.  For example, the Skyhook Wireless case.

 

That and the fact that Google tends to take a while to share their latest code with Android licensees.  Again, something which could be used to stifle competition if and when they see fit.  This is where I believe the Chinese government has an issue: many Chinese manufacturers are licensing Android, which gives Google a certain amount of control.

 
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post #7 of 39
a word to the chinese, it isn't google!... it is samsung... and are not the phones made in china?... so crack down on samsung, because i think google is samsungs b!7ch!!... who but google could be conned into writing an Operating system for free!... because they knew how and it Satisfied their vanity!
post #8 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by auxio View Post

 

The real difference is that Apple has never pretended that iOS is 'open' (in the sense that others can license it and use it freely in competing products).

 

The problem the Chinese government (and others) have with Android is that it's open until you try to do something which could undercut Google's advertising revenue.  At that point they tend to use 'Android compatibility' to try and stifle competition.  For example, the Skyhook Wireless case.

 

That and the fact that Google tends to take a while to share their latest code with Android licensees.  Again, something which could be used to stifle competition if and when they see fit.  This is where I believe the Chinese government has an issue: many Chinese manufacturers are licensing Android, which gives Google a certain amount of control.

 

Yes, it seems what the Chinese government doesn't like, among other things, is that Google is using its tight-fisted control over the supposedly "open source" Android source code to disadvantage Chinese companies who depend on it. 

 

And, yes, the whole "Open" Handset Alliance thing is a joke. Android compatibility is exactly what Google says it is, but it's not defined anywhere.


Edited by anonymouse - 3/5/13 at 8:25am
post #9 of 39

Just what the world wants, an OS made by Huwai with built-in back-doors for the intelligence arm of the People's Army to exploit.  I'm so excited, where can I join the queue? 
 

What are the Chinese government going to do in practical terms?  Tell Google do what we tell you or get out of China?  If I was Google I would tell them to FOAD, there's plenty of scope for us in India.

post #10 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

Yes, it seems what the Chinese government doesn't like, among other things, is that Google is using its tight-fisted control over the supposedly "open source" Android source code to disadvantage Chinese companies who depend on it. 

Translation: Google is helping Samsung flood China with South Korean made handsets.

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post #11 of 39
Righhhht. Cause most Chinese people would prefer their software with the built-in backdoors provided by the government friendly Chinese firms. This is simply a warning to Google to more co-operative with the government or risk getting locked out of the Chinese market. I can't see Google really caving in any substantial way on this (without hurting themselves elsewhere).

@auxio

Google certainly dominates Android. But there is absolutely nothing stopping companies from forking Android. Amazon had demonstrated this quite aptly.

Google simply says you can't go half way. You can't pick and choose what you want from Google on your Android device. You want to fork Android? You're on your own for an ecosystem. I see absolutely nothing wrong with that stance.

That position compels Google to work with the major OEMs (who have the ability to fork the OS if they want). And it compels the OEMs to work with Google to get the features they want, without having to develop an entire OS on their own.
post #12 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jetz View Post

Google certainly dominates Android. But there is absolutely nothing stopping companies from forking Android. Amazon had demonstrated this quite aptly.

Google simply says you can't go half way. You can't pick and choose what you want from Google on your Android device. You want to fork Android? You're on your own for an ecosystem. I see absolutely nothing wrong with that stance.

That position compels Google to work with the major OEMs (who have the ability to fork the OS if they want). And it compels the OEMs to work with Google to get the features they want, without having to develop an entire OS on their own.

 

Did you even bother to read the details of the Skyhook Wireless case?

 

It wasn't about an Android licensee (rightfully) being excluded from the ecosystem by forking Android and customizing it.  It was about a company trying to create a competing positioning app for Android, and being cut out of the market because Google strong-armed the Android licensees who were going to include it as their default positioning app (rather than Google's own app).  For simply choosing a different default app (but still including Google's app as well), not making an OS modification or similar.


Edited by auxio - 3/5/13 at 11:24am
 
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post #13 of 39
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

The white paper ... said that China's "core technology roadmap is strictly controlled by Google."

 

Except for search technology.  You know, Google's bread-and-butter ad revenue generator.

Doing business in China hasn't all been big happy fun for Google, and it might even get worse.

 

Question: What other mobile OS is based on open standards and free?

Answer: Tizenhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tizen

 

In some ways, Tizen is like Android with Google's profit layer stripped out.

Samsung is supposedly considering Tizen as an alternative to Android as well.  Makes perfect sense,

since Samsung and Intel are on Tizen's Technical Steering Committee.

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post #14 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Translation: Google is helping Samsung flood China with South Korean made handsets.

 

Vietnamese and Chinese made handsets, check the label inside the battery bay for where your Samsung handset is made.

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post #15 of 39
Originally Posted by Jetz View Post

Righhhht. Cause most Chinese people would prefer their software with the built-in backdoors provided by the government friendly Chinese firms. [...]

 

And if most Chinese people object to their government's policies, they can just elect new leadership.

 

Righhhht.

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post #16 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jetz View Post

Google certainly dominates Android. But there is absolutely nothing stopping companies from forking Android. Amazon had demonstrated this quite aptly.

Google simply says you can't go half way. You can't pick and choose what you want from Google on your Android device. You want to fork Android? You're on your own for an ecosystem. I see absolutely nothing wrong with that stance.

That position compels Google to work with the major OEMs (who have the ability to fork the OS if they want). And it compels the OEMs to work with Google to get the features they want, without having to develop an entire OS on their own.

 

Apart from Samsung, of course, who are big enough to give a big STFU to the "open" handset alliance and Google.

 

Navigon maps, Polaris office, Knox, Samsung hub(s) etc

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post #17 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by e1618978 View Post

Android dominance will suddenly go away if Samsung gets a good reception for its Tizen phone.

 

I am not sure that it will just go away. 

 

China Mobil Android Page View by Vendor:

Samsung %22

HTC %12

Huawei %9 

Moto %6

ZTE %6

Levino %6

Other %39  

http://techcrunch.com/2013/03/05/android-big-in-china/screen-shot-2013-03-05-at-14-19-39-1/

post #18 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by SockRolid View Post

In some ways, Tizen is like Android with Google's profit layer stripped out.

Samsung is supposedly considering Tizen as an alternative to Android as well.  Makes perfect sense,

since Samsung and Intel are on Tizen's Technical Steering Committee.

 

/me grabs popcorn and waits for the show to start.  Should be *very* interesting to see how Google's stance on patents and lawsuits changes when the shoe is on the other foot.

 
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post #19 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Translation: Google is helping Samsung flood China with South Korean made handsets.

 

Vietnamese and Chinese made handsets, check the label inside the battery bay for where your Samsung handset is made.

Good to know. I don't have a battery bay on my handset. So I revise the comment to Korean designed handset, which is also where the profit goes.

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post #20 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jetz View Post

Google certainly dominates Android. But there is absolutely nothing stopping companies from forking Android. Amazon had demonstrated this quite aptly.
 

 

I think that both B&N and Amazon got the jump on Android for tablets with their "Forks". Android wasn't ready for tablets and by limiting it to a specialized niche they had success. 

In Q411 The two of them accounted for nearly half of all Android Tablets. In Q412 the two of them accounted for less than a quarter. B&N had negative growth. Amazon grew but lost market share. Most likely the specialized niche advantage they had will be lost moving as android has become more suitable for tablets. 

 

http://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=prUS23926713#.UTZKKhysh8H

post #21 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacRulez View Post

Does Google have more control over Android that Apple does over iOS?

You missed the point of the Chinese technology ministry's report by a country mile. It has nothing to do with Apple. It's about which foreign company's operating system wields significant leverage on the Chinese handset manufacturers.

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post #22 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Good to know. I don't have a battery bay on my handset. So I revise the comment to Korean designed handset, which is also where the profit goes.

 

I don't know why Samsung don't have a "Made in XXXX" label on the box, like everyone else does.

 

All part of the smoke and mirrors, I guess.

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post #23 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacRulez View Post

Does Google have more control over Android that Apple does over iOS?

 

Does Apple tout their wares as being "open" in a seemingly meaningless display of pure marketing?

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post #24 of 39
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post
I don't know why Samsung don't have a "Made in XXXX" label on the box, like everyone else does.

 

Because having to put "Designed by Apple in California. Made in China." on their products and boxes would be embarrassing.

Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
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post #25 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

I don't know why Samsung don't have a "Made in XXXX" label on the box, like everyone else does.

 

They do.  Both my Galaxy Nexus box, and the back of my Tab 10.1, say "Made in Korea".   Edit: so does my old Galaxy Tab 7.

 

From what I've read, Samsung builds their higher end devices in Korea for better quality control.

 

It's the lower priced stuff that's made in Southeast Asia countries where labor is cheaper.

post #26 of 39
Its so funny to see people pick the loving, freedom spreading, human rights lover, freedom of information Chinese government over an American company that does nothing but fight for internet and information freedom. Pathetic people.

Yeah Samsung can fork android... oh wait unless android is useless without google, which it is. Without the play store and google's ecosystem android is worthless.
Samsung is not stupid to throw away $8 billion they make off of android.
All Samsung needs to do is look at Windows phone. Microsoft has a pretty ecosystem but they are treading water.

Life is hard without google apps. Really hard. Gmail, search, youtube, maps that is the ecosystem of all ecosystems. Most folks under 21 wont look at your platform without a proper youtube app.

Chinese goverment is mad because it doesnt have a backdoor to android to bend over the Chinese people out of its information. ANDROID IS TOO BIG FOR THEM TO CONTROL. So there mad. All they have are second rate hardware and software makers, they want a peace of the pie. Google is the only one with the balls to stand up to them. But instead of praising Google for have some morals, fanboys are out here throwing a live fest for the Chinese government. Never knew it could get this pathetic in here, but it has.

New low record.
post #27 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Techstalker View Post

Chinese goverment is mad because it doesnt have a backdoor to android to bend over the Chinese people out of its information. ANDROID IS TOO BIG FOR THEM TO CONTROL. So there mad. All they have are second rate hardware and software makers, they want a peace of the pie. Google is the only one with the balls to stand up to them. But instead of praising Google for have some morals, fanboys are out here throwing a live fest for the Chinese government. Never knew it could get this pathetic in here, but it has.

New low record.

 

Putting aside the fact that your post takes more random turns than an art school film project, I'll address the last point:

 

No one really believes that the Chinese government's motivation in this is altruistic.  It's certainly aimed at protecting the cartel of government friendly manufacturers in China.

 

That said, Google's track record of using the nebulous definition of 'Android compatibility' as a way to prevent competition on their turf doesn't exactly inspire a lot of confidence in the 'openness and freedom' of their platform.  No matter how much they try to spin it as being 'for the greater good' or portray themselves as heroes.

 

In fact, the protectionist measures taken by Google with Android to lock out competition in certain areas is, in some respects, similar to the protectionist measures used by the Chinese government to maintain their own monopoly.  So it's almost inevitable that they'd be butting heads at some point.


Edited by auxio - 3/5/13 at 1:02pm
 
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post #28 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jetz View Post

Google certainly dominates Android. But there is absolutely nothing stopping companies from forking Android. Amazon had demonstrated this quite aptly.

Google simply says you can't go half way. You can't pick and choose what you want from Google on your Android device. You want to fork Android? You're on your own for an ecosystem. I see absolutely nothing wrong with that stance.

 

Except this isn't true since they used the OHA bludgeon against the handset that Acer built for Alibaba.  Given the mention of Baidu and Alibaba this is a direct response to that action.

 

I suppose that Google has pretty much written off China as a revenue source already but the PRC can still cause it heartburn.

post #29 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

I don't know why Samsung don't have a "Made in XXXX" label on the box, like everyone else does.

All part of the smoke and mirrors, I guess.

I haven't been close enough to a Samsung box to see, but that's required by US law, so it must be there somewhere.
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post #30 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by nht View Post

 

Except this isn't true since they used the OHA bludgeon against the handset that Acer built for Alibaba.  Given the mention of Baidu and Alibaba this is a direct response to that action.

 

Makes sense.  I actually think Google was justified in the Alibaba case as they were most certainly trying to double-dip (fork their own version of Android and benefit from the ecosystem).

 

That said, the fact that any company which is part of the OHA is only allowed to create products which are 'Android compatible' is ridiculous.  How exactly is that 'open'?

 
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post #31 of 39
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Originally Posted by auxio View Post

That said, the fact that any company which is part of the OHA is only allowed to create products which are 'Android compatible' is ridiculous.  How exactly is that 'open'?

 

It's the whole point of forming the OHA... to make compatible versions so the ecosystem can grow, and apps can be shared.  

 

As for "open", people have mistaken ideas about it...

 

"Open" is NOT about each company giving all their code to every other company, or even about every company controlling the core code (Google does that).  "Open" is about everyone being able to see and use the core code.

 

"Open" also means that anyone can modify the source to differentiate their own device (say, by making it faster, or by adding a proprietary extension for air gestures).

 

Another "open" part is that they can leave out things like GMail and substitute HotMail if they wished.

post #32 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Techstalker View Post

Its so funny to see people pick the loving, freedom spreading, human rights lover, freedom of information Chinese government over an American company that does nothing but fight for internet and information freedom. Pathetic people.

Yeah Samsung can fork android... oh wait unless android is useless without google, which it is. Without the play store and google's ecosystem android is worthless.
Samsung is not stupid to throw away $8 billion they make off of android.
All Samsung needs to do is look at Windows phone. Microsoft has a pretty ecosystem but they are treading water.

Life is hard without google apps. Really hard. Gmail, search, youtube, maps that is the ecosystem of all ecosystems. Most folks under 21 wont look at your platform without a proper youtube app.

Chinese goverment is mad because it doesnt have a backdoor to android to bend over the Chinese people out of its information. ANDROID IS TOO BIG FOR THEM TO CONTROL. So there mad. All they have are second rate hardware and software makers, they want a peace of the pie. Google is the only one with the balls to stand up to them. But instead of praising Google for have some morals, fanboys are out here throwing a live fest for the Chinese government. Never knew it could get this pathetic in here, but it has.

New low record.

Idiotic post reached new lows, even by your standards. I don't use google and life is real nice. Tell me why I need google again? I see, to track me and show me ads.
post #33 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by auxio View Post

 

Makes sense.  I actually think Google was justified in the Alibaba case as they were most certainly trying to double-dip (fork their own version of Android and benefit from the ecosystem).

 

That said, the fact that any company which is part of the OHA is only allowed to create products which are 'Android compatible' is ridiculous.  How exactly is that 'open'?

 

No, they wanted to use their OWN ecosystem and not Google's.  All they wanted was a solid handset manufacturer with a half decent brand.

post #34 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by KDarling View Post

 

As for "open", people have mistaken ideas about it...

 

"Open" is NOT about each company giving all their code to every other company, or even about every company controlling the core code (Google does that).  "Open" is about everyone being able to see and use the core code.

 

"Open" also means that anyone can modify the source to differentiate their own device (say, by making it faster, or by adding a proprietary extension for air gestures).

 

Another "open" part is that they can leave out things like GMail and substitute HotMail if they wished.

 

Except they can't.

 

They cannot see and use the core code without running into Google's OHA restrictions as shown by Acer/Alibaba.  Meaning you can fork but none of the major manufacturers are allowed to make handsets for you.

 

They can modify their source to a point until they run into OHA restrictions as shown by Acer/Alibaba.  Meaning you can fork but none of the major manufacturers are allowed to make handsets for you.

 

They can leave out Google ecosystem to a point until the run into OHA restrictions as shown by Acer/Alibaba.  Meaning you can fork but none of the major manufacturers are allowed to make handsets for you.

 

If you can't get a major manufacturer to make a handset for you then you're f-ed.

 

And Google is inconsistent leading to this PRC response.  Haier is a OHA member that makes incompatible android devices for Amazon as well as Alibaba as well but the brand isn't as good as Acer's.  As to why Haier seems immune it's probably because they don't really care if they are black listed from any Google support or making Android branded phones outside of China.

 

The whole thing was simply stupid on Goggle's part.  Their potential revenue stream in China was killed when they pulled out anyway and you don't become a major company in China without heavy ties to the Communist party.  Meaning f-ing around with Alibaba on such a petty level simply insured more official sanctions and pissing off one of your manufacturers at a time when they were all pissed about Moto. 

 

Samsung isn't stupid.  They can see that working with Baidu and Alibaba in China is going to be required for success because most of Google's ecosystem is blocked in China anyway.

 

Hence Tizen which is clearly not Android but with the OpenMobile ACL can run Android apps.  Expect a PRC driven Tizen fork that isn't locked to Samsung's SDK licensing by Baidu and Alibaba or a loosening of Samsung's SDK licensing and a Samsung phone for one or both the Baidu and Alibaba ecosystems.

post #35 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by nht View Post

And Google is inconsistent leading to this PRC response.  Haier is a OHA member that makes incompatible android devices for Amazon as well as Alibaba as well but the brand isn't as good as Acer's.  As to why Haier seems immune it's probably because they don't really care if they are black listed from any Google support or making Android branded phones outside of China.

 

One big problem was that the Aliyun OS app store supposedly included pirated Google apps.  Not smart.

 

The other was that their app store included Android apps, so Aliyun was clearly trying to have their cake and eat it too.  Either fork it or don't.

 

Or do like Amazon, and require developers to recompile and submit.

 

Quote:
The whole thing was simply stupid on Goggle's part.

 

Yep.  In some ways it makes sense that they'd want to protect the purpose of the OHA, but it was definitely poorly handled.

post #36 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by KDarling View Post

"Open" also means that anyone can modify the source to differentiate their own device (say, by making it faster, or by adding a proprietary extension for air gestures).

 

And that's exactly what Acer did for Alibaba: forked Android and made a custom handset for them.  Yet Google intervened and threatened Acer's OHA status for doing so unless they pulled the plug on the launch.  Excerpt from the Guardian's article on it:

 

"The search giant lobbied Acer last week to halt its scheduled press showing of a new smartphone aimed at the Chinese market, pointing out that membership of the Open Handset Alliance - the group of companies forming the device, carrier, semiconductor, software and "commercialisation" sides of the Android ecosystem - forbids Acer from making devices that offer forked, or incompatible, versions of Android."

 

Every project I've ever seen or worked on which has the term 'open' in it (e.g. OpenSSH, OpenBSD, etc) freely allows forking.  In fact, OpenBSD's origins are from a forked version of NetBSD.  This is how the open source movement grows and thrives.

 

Google benefitted from many years of work by the open source community through basing Android on Linux (which, in turn, benefitted from its predecessor, MINIX).  Yet they seem to use every tool at their disposal to prevent others from having the same freedoms they did whenever they are threatened with competition.

 


Edited by auxio - 3/6/13 at 7:11am
 
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post #37 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by nht View Post

 

No, they wanted to use their OWN ecosystem and not Google's.  All they wanted was a solid handset manufacturer with a half decent brand.

 

Note that I said 'benefit from the ecosystem' (not 'use the ecosystem').  As KDarling pointed out, their app store also included apps from the Android app store.

 
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post #38 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by auxio View Post

And that's exactly what Acer did for Alibaba: forked Android and made a custom handset for them.  

 

You mean that Alibaba forked it. Acer didn't.

 

As an OHA member, Acer is not allowed to make a device with forked Android.  They agreed to that when they joined.

 

Smaller manufacturer Haier should've likewise been reminded of their obligations when they broke their promise.  By letting them have a pass, Google looked bad later on.

 

Re: "open".  I think that Google should've used a different phrase to differentiate their project rules.

post #39 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by KDarling View Post

 

You mean that Alibaba forked it. Acer didn't.

 

Right.  But my original point still holds about Acer not being allowed to manufacture a device with a forked version of Android if they are a member of the OHA (regardless of who forks it).

 

 

Quote:

As an OHA member, Acer is not allowed to make a device with forked Android.  They agreed to that when they joined.

 

Smaller manufacturer Haier should've likewise been reminded of their obligations when they broke their promise.  By letting them have a pass, Google looked bad later on.

 

Re: "open".  I think that Google should've used a different phrase to differentiate their project rules.

 

And this is where I have a problem with Google.  So many people are sold on the idea that Google is the 'liberator of the internet' and promoting 'open source' and 'freedom'.  As someone who has worked a number of years on open source projects (including the Linux kernel itself), it boils my blood when I have to argue with these people about what is truly behind those things.  And how Google, at the end of the day, is still a company out to make profit (just the same as Apple).

 

Thus, when push comes to shove regarding freedom vs things which threaten their bottom line, they'll pick the bottom line.  Which is fine, that's how business works, we all know and accept that.  But at least be upfront about it instead of selling people on the image that you're somehow better than Apple because you're more 'open'.

 
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