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Google slapped with antitrust suit, accused of stagnating competition with Android MADA contracts - Page 2

post #41 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phone-UI-Guy View Post

The real issues are related to the anti-fragmentation clauses. If you sign the MADA agreements, you can only do the full certified Google android. You cannot put out a standard android device also. You must certify every firmware load with an agent of Googles and pay for the privilege. It also means you cannot use third party services to replace Googles. Their agreements are totally anti-competitive due to locking you in and locking other options and vendors out.

As explained by other, there are actually two Android OS. The AOSP (Android Open Source Project), the one that is open and available to everyone, without restrictions nor contracts nor agreements. Then there is Google Android, i.e. Google customization of AOSP. The difference is exactly in the Google branded apps: for example mail app in AOSP is open source and generic, while in Google Android is the Google branded Gmail app (not open source). The same for Camera app, search bar and so on.

If you want to ship a phone with PlayStore officially installed, you have to sign MADA agreements to be allowed to ship a Google Android OS. Else, if you don't want to sign agreement, you can ship an AOSP (like CyanogenMod) without PlayStore, but users can still install separately Google Apps and PlayStore (legal, but quite difficult, not for everyone).

So, AOSP is fully open, Google Android is not. Hardware vendors prefer to sign for Google Android because they WANT Google ecosystem, else they would have to fork AOSP like Amazon with Kindle or Nokia with Nokia X, and create thery own app store.
post #42 of 77

So when this gets to court, what will be the plaintifs' answer to the question: 'In what way does your device prevent you accessing the services of duckduckgo.com via a web browser?'

 

Case closed.

post #43 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by bradipao View Post


As explained by other, there are actually two Android OS. The AOSP (Android Open Source Project), the one that is open and available to everyone, without restrictions nor contracts nor agreements. Then there is Google Android, i.e. Google customization of AOSP. The difference is exactly in the Google branded apps: for example mail app in AOSP is open source and generic, while in Google Android is the Google branded Gmail app (not open source). The same for Camera app, search bar and so on.

If you want to ship a phone with PlayStore officially installed, you have to sign MADA agreements to be allowed to ship a Google Android OS. Else, if you don't want to sign agreement, you can ship an AOSP (like CyanogenMod) without PlayStore, but users can still install separately Google Apps and PlayStore (legal, but quite difficult, not for everyone).

So, AOSP is fully open, Google Android is not. Hardware vendors prefer to sign for Google Android because they WANT Google ecosystem, else they would have to fork AOSP like Amazon with Kindle or Nokia with Nokia X, and create thery own app store.

 

There is so much incorrect information in this post it's hard to know where to begin.

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post #44 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by bradipao View Post

As explained by other, there are actually two Android OS. The AOSP (Android Open Source Project), the one that is open and available to everyone, without restrictions nor contracts nor agreements. Then there is Google Android, i.e. Google customization of AOSP. The difference is exactly in the Google branded apps: for example mail app in AOSP is open source and generic, while in Google Android is the Google branded Gmail app (not open source). The same for Camera app, search bar and so on.

If you want to ship a phone with PlayStore officially installed, you have to sign MADA agreements to be allowed to ship a Google Android OS. Else, if you don't want to sign agreement, you can ship an AOSP (like CyanogenMod) without PlayStore, but users can still install separately Google Apps and PlayStore (legal, but quite difficult, not for everyone).

So, AOSP is fully open, Google Android is not. Hardware vendors prefer to sign for Google Android because they WANT Google ecosystem, else they would have to fork AOSP like Amazon with Kindle or Nokia with Nokia X, and create thery own app store.

So why did Google threaten Acer with kicking them out of the handset alliance unless they withdrew the Aliyun phone running Alibaba's forked version of Android from sale?

Meaning Acer was forced to toe the line or not have access to Google Android and it's associated services at all.

Just like Microsoft did with OEMs who wanted to install Linux on PC's.
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post #45 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by tundraboy View Post

You cannot use a monopoly ('dominant market position' is the more accurate term) in one market to establish a monopoly in another.  That's what tripped up Microsoft and what is in play here.  Whether the plaintiff lawyers have a credible case or not, I don't have enough info to hazard an opinion.

What monopoly? Android isn't a market and these apps are just on Android so it's not also not a market. And there is nothing keeping vendors from making their own Maps or video streaming apps that are preloaded on these devices. It would be like saying Apple has an iMessage monopoly they are abusing by not letting other OSes create iMessage apps.

Consider it from this perspective:
  • You are a manufacturer and want to enter the smart phone marketplace
  • You need an OS to run on the phone
  • The only viable choice of OSes is Android with a dominant market share
  • In order to use Android on your phones, Google the Android provider, requires you to offer other Google apps using Google services to the exclusion of competing apps and services

This is called an illegal tie-in. There are lots of antitrust case precedents striking down attempted illegal tie-ins.

One classic case where it was ruled that it was illegal for IBM to require users of its tabulating machines (punched card equipment) to use only IBM manufactured punched cards.

I was an IBM Tab Machine Operator during this era, and the early competitive punched cards were poorly manufactured and would frequently cause the machines to jam -- at a loss of time, data and sometimes damage to the IBM machines (all contentions made by IBM to justify the IBM card only requirement).

http://books.google.com/books?id=osZjOgfGY5gC&pg=PA255&lpg=PA255&dq=ibm+punched+card+illegal+tie-in&source=bl&ots=NrvCs2BNdY&sig=43t1cmTUAeNkazySpQPPy19n1DA&hl=en&sa=X&ei=U1tjU9jICo3xoATqwYCACA&ved=0CD4Q6AEwBA#v=onepage&q=ibm%20punched%20card%20illegal%20tie-in&f=false


Unfortunately, most of the citations are, as above, links to Google books -- where you cannot quote the material only link to it through Google's books service.
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post #46 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frac View Post

Not so fast...you did notice that this 'bullshit' lawsuit has been filed by two phone companies? I wouldn't call that an idle threat.

Two phone companies?
Quote:
The named plaintiffs include Gary Feitelson, a resident of Louisville, Kentucky and owner of an HTC EVO 3D mobile phone, and Daniel McKee, a resident of Des Moines, Iowa and owner of a Samsung Galaxy S III mobile phone.

It sounds like they wanted certain apps but not others but that's the only way Google offers it to vendors so they are claiming they are being charged for apps they don't want. Boo-fucking-Hoo! I won't use Newsstand or GPRS on my iPhone but it comes with them so if I want an iPhone I have to accept them as part of the product.

A classic case of me seeing what I wanted to see I guess 1hmm.gif
post #47 of 77
Antitrust/restraint of trade laws sometimes produce some interesting rulings.

In the 1950s, A small Southern California Supermarket chain:  Von's Market;  attempted to merge with another small local chain:  Shopping Bag Stores. Even though the merged chain had less than 30% of the market (AIR, it was 17%), the merger was struck down -- it was ruled that the longer term effect tended towards an illegal monopoly.

In the 1970s, IBM had 97% of the maimframe computer market. They were sued, but it was ruled that IBM had attained their dominant position by providing superior products, marketing and services -- none of which are illegal or anticompetitive, so the case was dismissed.

In a way, this demonstrates that attempting to be anticompetitive can have legal implications regardless of market share ...  You just have to be big enough or blatant enough to get noticed.
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post #48 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by bradipao View Post

As explained by other, there are actually two Android OS. The AOSP (Android Open Source Project), the one that is open and available to everyone, without restrictions nor contracts nor agreements. Then there is Google Android, i.e. Google customization of AOSP. The difference is exactly in the Google branded apps: for example mail app in AOSP is open source and generic, while in Google Android is the Google branded Gmail app (not open source). The same for Camera app, search bar and so on.

If you want to ship a phone with PlayStore officially installed, you have to sign MADA agreements to be allowed to ship a Google Android OS. Else, if you don't want to sign agreement, you can ship an AOSP (like CyanogenMod) without PlayStore, but users can still install separately Google Apps and PlayStore (legal, but quite difficult, not for everyone).

So, AOSP is fully open, Google Android is not. Hardware vendors prefer to sign for Google Android because they WANT Google ecosystem, else they would have to fork AOSP like Amazon with Kindle or Nokia with Nokia X, and create thery own app store.

So why did Google threaten Acer with kicking them out of the handset alliance unless they withdrew the Aliyun phone running Alibaba's forked version of Android from sale?

Meaning Acer was forced to toe the line or not have access to Google Android and it's associated services at all.

Just like Microsoft did with OEMs who wanted to install Linux on PC's.

Exactly my point but it is worse. If a large tech company such as Acer signs the MADA for making phones, they cannot use AOSP for anything. Even if they want to make a headless device that no one will know has android, that will violate the MADA. It is the all or nothing nature of their agreements that is a problem. It really is making a deal with the Devil.
post #49 of 77
As some people have noted be careful of what you wish for. If Google lose this (I believe they won't imho) then as sure as the next sunrise the next lawsuit will be against Apple.
post #50 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by singularity View Post

As some people have noted be careful of what you wish for. If Google lose this (I believe they won't imho) then as sure as the next sunrise the next lawsuit will be against Apple.

They may get sued, but I don't think Apple has the same exposure as Google.

Google is attempting to tie-in one thing (Android OS) with another (Google Apps and Services) -- essentially saying:  If you want this, you have to take this, too!

Apple is saying here is the package -- take it or leave it!
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post #51 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post


They may get sued, but I don't think Apple has the same exposure as Google.

Google is attempting to tie-in one thing (Android OS) with another (Google Apps and Services) -- essentially saying:  If you want this, you have to take this, too!

Apple is saying here is the package -- take it or leave it!

Aren't they just tying Google Apps / Services together into a single package, though? Or am I missing something here?

post #52 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

Consider it from this perspective:
  • You are a manufacturer and want to enter the smart phone marketplace
  • You need an OS to run on the phone
  • The only viable choice of OSes is Android with a dominant market share
  • In order to use Android on your phones, Google the Android provider, requires you to offer other Google apps using Google services to the exclusion of competing apps and services

And there's the point you should have been making. Google doesn't require competing services be excluded, as evidenced by the Samsung pre-installed duplicates for nearly every Google Android service from Google Drive / Samsung Link to Google Music / Milk Music to Google Play / Samsung Apps.
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post #53 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkLite View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

They may get sued, but I don't think Apple has the same exposure as Google.


Google is attempting to tie-in one thing (Android OS) with another (Google Apps and Services) -- essentially saying:  If you want this, you have to take this, too!


Apple is saying here is the package -- take it or leave it!
Aren't they just tying Google Apps / Services together into a single package, though? Or am I missing something here?

In a way, yes ...

But (as I understand it), until recently there was no tie-in and no preclusion of offering a forked version in addition to the supported version. So there are precedents that had been set that are now being changed -- now there are tie-ins where there were none before.

I read, somewhere, that in commerce, tie-ins are illegal (anticompetitive) per se. If you are a large company and/or dominate a market, it would wise to always be wary of how your actions will be perceived * as well as their actual effects.

* by customers, competitors and governments ... Eric Holder is watching!

I think that anticompetitive is kind of like porn -- you may not be able to define it, but you'll know it when you see it ... Each and every time 1biggrin.gif
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post #54 of 77
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post


So why did Google threaten Acer with kicking them out of the handset alliance unless they withdrew the Aliyun phone running Alibaba's forked version of Android from sale?

Meaning Acer was forced to toe the line or not have access to Google Android and it's associated services at all.

Just like Microsoft did with OEMs who wanted to install Linux on PC's.

Because that Acer device failed compatibility testing: http://source.android.com/compatibility/overview.html

 

Part of the MADA contract is that every Android device you put on the market henceforth passes the compatibility tests. If Google didn't do that, Android would be even more fragmented than it is today.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post


Consider it from this perspective:
  • You are a manufacturer and want to enter the smart phone marketplace
  • You need an OS to run on the phone
  • The only viable choice of OSes is Android with a dominant market share
  • In order to use Android on your phones, Google the Android provider, requires you to offer other Google apps using Google services to the exclusion of competing apps and services

This is called an illegal tie-in. There are lots of antitrust case precedents striking down attempted illegal tie-ins.
 

 

Well, it's not to the exclusion of other apps and services. See: Every Samsung review complaining about poorly made, duplicative bloatware. 

 

The problem with the tie-in claim is that one could make a legitimate argument for having a consistent core set of apps and services on every device in an ecosystem, as thats pretty much the defining characteristic of an ecosystem. With that frame, what they're doing isn't so much "full line forcing" as it is "maintaining an ecosystem". 

post #55 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

Just like Microsoft did with OEMs who wanted to install Linux on PC's.

Not like that at all. They don't have to use Android.
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post #56 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zaim2 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

So why did Google threaten Acer with kicking them out of the handset alliance unless they withdrew the Aliyun phone running Alibaba's forked version of Android from sale?


Meaning Acer was forced to toe the line or not have access to Google Android and it's associated services at all.


Just like Microsoft did with OEMs who wanted to install Linux on PC's.
Because that Acer device failed compatibility testing: http://source.android.com/compatibility/overview.html

Part of the MADA contract is that every Android device you put on the market henceforth passes the compatibility tests. If Google didn't do that, Android would be even more fragmented than it is today.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

Consider it from this perspective:
  • You are a manufacturer and want to enter the smart phone marketplace
  • You need an OS to run on the phone
  • The only viable choice of OSes is Android with a dominant market share
  • In order to use Android on your phones, Google the Android provider, requires you to offer other Google apps using Google services to the exclusion of competing apps and services


This is called an illegal tie-in. There are lots of antitrust case precedents striking down attempted illegal tie-ins.

 

Well, it's not to the exclusion of other apps and services. See: Every Samsung review complaining about poorly made, duplicative bloatware. 

The problem with the tie-in claim is that one could make a legitimate argument for having a consistent core set of apps and services on every device in an ecosystem, as thats pretty much the defining characteristic of an ecosystem. With that frame, what they're doing isn't so much "full line forcing" as it is "maintaining an ecosystem". 

I read recently that Google was (successfully?) exerting pressure on Sammy to cut back on the duplicative bloatware.

As I see it, Google is attempting to transition from a [relatively] open ecosystem to a more closed/curated ecosystem. Even though many (most?) would claim that this would benefit the users -- it still could be considered anticompetitive and illegal -- depending on what is done and how it is done.

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post #57 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

Consider it from this perspective:
  • You are a manufacturer and want to enter the smart phone marketplace
  • You need an OS to run on the phone
  • The only viable choice of OSes is Android with a dominant market share
  • In order to use Android on your phones, Google the Android provider, requires you to offer other Google apps using Google services to the exclusion of competing apps and services
.

Yes and no. If a manufacturer joins the OHA (which was created with the intent and purpose that there would exist a set of standards or rules) then yes, but any non-member manufacturer can use Android and do with it what they like.

Amazon and Nokia are not part of the OHA and makes devices with forked versions of Android as their OS and have their own curated app store. There's a British company looking to get into the handset business that is going to use a forked version of Android, and there's a Chinese manufacturer that is using the most popular custom RIM as its OS. So it all depends on what route you want to take.
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post #58 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

As I see it, Google is attempting to transition from a [relatively] open ecosystem to a more closed/curated ecosystem. Even though many (most?) would claim that this would benefit the users -- it still could be considered anticompetitive and illegal -- depending on what is done and how it is done.

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They're reportedly looking to do just that.

http://techcrunch.com/2014/04/29/google-android-silver-program/
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post #59 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post


They may get sued, but I don't think Apple has the same exposure as Google.

Google is attempting to tie-in one thing (Android OS) with another (Google Apps and Services) -- essentially saying:  If you want this, you have to take this, too!

Apple is saying here is the package -- take it or leave it!

So would this imply that Google could actually get out of this situation by removing the option of using the base Android OS without Google Apps and Services? In that case the entire Android OS would become inseparable from Google Apps like how Apple's preinstalled apps cannot be separated from iOS.

post #60 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by d4NjvRzf View Post

So would this imply that Google could actually get out of this situation by removing the option of using the base Android OS without Google Apps and Services? In that case the entire Android OS would become inseparable from Google Apps like how Apple's preinstalled apps cannot be separated from iOS.

There's lots of ways to 'get out of it". There's quite a path from filing a class-action lawsuit to actually having it certified as one in a Federal Court. Apple has seen several class-action lawsuits dismissed for various and legitimate reasons.
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post #61 of 77

It took them clowns this long to figure out what most of us knew already.

Google gave away the bull**** for a reason. Hello! Anybody home!

post #62 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zaim2 View Post

Because that Acer device failed compatibility testing:

What business does Google have performing compatibility testing on AOSP? Or Aliyun? There's no Google services installed nor access to Google Play.
post #63 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by EricTheHalfBee View Post

What business does Google have performing compatibility testing on AOSP? Or Aliyun? There's no Google services installed nor access to Google Play.

You're right. The only thing getting in the way is that pesky little contract Acer signed as a member of the Open Handset Alliance using Google Android.
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post #64 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

You're right. The only thing getting in the way is that pesky little contract Acer signed as a member of the Open Handset Alliance using Google Android.
Yeah, that anti-competitive agreement.

Perhaps MS should make it so that any OEM that ships a PC with Windows 8 is prevented from making PC's that also ship with Win 7. This is the closest analogy available, and shows how stupid Googles agreement is. Google is essentially preventing companies from selling two lines of devices - one with Google Android and one with AOSP.

Why should Google care if Acer sells Google devices that are 100% compliant (compatible) and ALSO makes phones for another company (like Aliyun)? Acer isn't putting the Android logo on their Aliyun devices, not is making a device for Sliyunin any way lowering the quality or compatibility if their Android branded devices.

What's next, telling Foxconn they're not allowed to manufacture phones for Android forks if they also make phones for Google? This is essentially what Acer was doing - acting like a manufacturer. Google stepped out of bounds with Acer.
post #65 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post




Yes and no. If a manufacturer joins the OHA (which was created with the intent and purpose that there would exist a set of standards or rules) then yes, but any non-member manufacturer can use Android and do with it what they like.

Amazon and Nokia are not part of the OHA and makes devices with forked versions of Android as their OS and have their own curated app store. There's a British company looking to get into the handset business that is going to use a forked version of Android, and there's a Chinese manufacturer that is using the most popular custom RIM as its OS. So it all depends on what route you want to take.

 

So what happens if you are an OEM and make handsets under your own name but also contract to make handsets for others?

 

If you are a member of the OHA you cannot build handsets for a company using a forked version of Android.

 

This is what happened to Acer.

 

It is anti-competitive.

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post #66 of 77
I would say Google did achieve their "monopoly" by having truly superior search. They are now propping up other ventures (and search to some extent) by means that do not promote competition.

But I would think lack of feature differentiation among Android devices would make prices LOWER (because that's one of the few things they can compete with each other on) not higher.
post #67 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

So what happens if you are an OEM and make handsets under your own name but also contract to make handsets for others?

If you are a member of the OHA you cannot build handsets for a company using a forked version of Android.

This is what happened to Acer.

It is anti-competitive.

My understanding is that Acer was about to release a phone under their name but running a OS made by Alibaba which would violate the agreement they made when they joined the OHA.

They claimed that the OS was different but it allegedly was discovered that it uses Android runtime, framework and tools.

We don't know exactly what happened, Acer says no, and Google says yes. Obviously Google's say trumped Acer's say.

Is Google unfair, or was Acer caught trying to pull a fast one?
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post #68 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by EricTheHalfBee View Post

Yeah, that anti-competitive agreement..

What specifically is anti-competitive about it.? Have you read the terms for yourself to identify what you believe is the "unfair" part or just making it up as you go? What does Microsoft's Windows contract require of manufacturers that license it? Do they also require certain Microsoft services be bundled with it?
Edited by Gatorguy - 5/2/14 at 9:49am
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post #69 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

Not like that at all. They don't have to use Android.

And what would they use instead? Develop their own OSes and ecosystems?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

You're right. The only thing getting in the way is that pesky little contract Acer signed as a member of the Open Handset Alliance using Google Android.

Didn't this Alliance also demand that phones will be upgradable, Android-wise, for 18 months? How'd that work out.
post #70 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by jungmark View Post

Didn't this Alliance also demand that phones will be upgradable, Android-wise, for 18 months? How'd that work out.

LOL. . . I don't know whether it was a contract term but in any event not well at all.
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post #71 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by jungmark View Post

And what would they use instead? Develop their own OSes and ecosystems?

That option was and is always available, but I personally don't think that anyone else could build a successful OS and ecosystem.
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post #72 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

That option was and is always available, but I personally don't think that anyone else could build a successful OS and ecosystem.

Of course it's available but that's not the point. PC makers could have made their own PC OS. The fact is Android is on majority of "smart phones" will 100s of millions in the install base. It isn't viable for A phone manu to create a new OS to sell in its own phones. Basically they have to use Android.
post #73 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by jungmark View Post

Of course it's available but that's not the point. PC makers could have made their own PC OS. The fact is Android is on majority of "smart phones" will 100s of millions in the install base. It isn't viable for A phone manu to create a new OS to sell in its own phones. Basically they have to use Android.

Why use a OS that's a complete and utter failure? Is it not better to fail on your own merits than someone else's?
"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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post #74 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

Why use a OS that's a complete and utter failure? Is it not better to fail on your own merits than someone else's?

Laziness. That's why Android partners, except Sammy, are screwed.
post #75 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by jungmark View Post

Of course it's available but that's not the point. PC makers could have made their own PC OS. The fact is Android is on majority of "smart phones" will 100s of millions in the install base. It isn't viable for A phone manu to create a new OS to sell in its own phones. Basically they have to use Android.

I'd beg to differ. I think they are run by myopic, short term thinkers. They don't see the benefit in through millions a quarter at a project that may never be needed or bear fruit but if the PC OEMs had done that they might not be in the position they are now. Google, a new company compared to almost all of them has a mobile and desktop OS available. They could have done the same had they chosen to. Say what you want about Google's ethics or lack thereof but at least they look past their next quarterly earnings.

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post #76 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

And another lawsuit surrounding Google.


Not just Google either. The lawsuit wants Apple and Genentech buses blocked too as well as any other techs making use of the bus stops
http://www.siliconvalley.com/news/ci_25679769/group-sues-san-francisco-stop-tech-company-shuttles

Seems very short-sighted. Would they really prefer several thousand vehicles rather than a few hundred busses?
melior diabolus quem scies
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melior diabolus quem scies
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post #77 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post


My understanding is that Acer was about to release a phone under their name but running a OS made by Alibaba which would violate the agreement they made when they joined the OHA.

 

The Aliyun name for Aliyun.

Better than my Bose, better than my Skullcandy's, listening to Mozart through my LeBron James limited edition PowerBeats by Dre is almost as good as my Sennheisers.
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Better than my Bose, better than my Skullcandy's, listening to Mozart through my LeBron James limited edition PowerBeats by Dre is almost as good as my Sennheisers.
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