Android: How Google Is Driving Away Its Partners
Google has grown to the point where it is a problem for friends and enemies alike.
At first glance Acer, Apple, and Amazon would seem to have little to fear from an online advertising firm like Google. But that was before Android and Google's ever-present need to find new sources of revenue.
Android is the excuse Google needs to force all sorts of accommodations and agreements from "partners".
Apple and Google
Apple has made it clear since the launch of Android phones that it has issues with Google. First, Apple dropped Google CEO Eric Schmidt from its board of directors. Then it sued half a dozen manufacturers of Android phones. It also blocked Google apps on the iPhone. Finally, Apple dropped Google Maps and the YouTube app (YouTube has been owned by Google since 2006) from iOS 6.
Going from having Google on its board of directors to dropping every Google feature (except search) is a major shift. There is a clear chill in the air between these two companies. The differences are growing every year.
Amazon and Google
Amazon has followed a different but equally distancing route. It switched the Kindle Fire to the Android operating system but rolled its own version, so you have to use Amazon's store to get apps. Lucky for Amazon, it is not part of the Open Handset Alliance. It has the freedom to use Android without being locked in by Google's rules.
On top of this arm's length dealing with Google, Amazon also dropped Google as its search engine in favor of Microsoft back in 2006.
The latest move to distance itself is the switch from Google Maps to maps from Nokia.
When partners are choosing Nokia and Microsoft over you, it may be time to evaluate the perception of your company in the business world. I doubt that anyone believes Google's Don't be evil slogan any longer.
We could say that it is too bad for Apple and Amazon, but Google cannot go around trying to make everyone happy.
Acer and Google
Open Handset Alliance logo.
Then we learned that Google is putting its heavy hand on existing partners. Acer has been told that it cannot make phones with the Aliyun OS because this OS is not 100% compatible with Android. (Members are not allowed to produce phones that run incompatible versions of Android, but they are allowed to build phones that run other operating systems.)
If Acer wants to stay in the Open Handset Alliance, it has to toe the line and only make Android smartphones. Since Android is life or death for Acer's phone business, it has no choice but obey Google.
Now we can look at Apple and Amazon's decisions and see Google in a new light. The supposed open source loving Google likes things open, but only as it defines open. It is not like Google is offering to legal indemnify its partners who use only 100% Android; it is simply saying that to be part of this "open" project, you are limited by rules Google created.
What Google gives away, it can also take away.
Google is a partnership neither Apple nor Amazon can afford.
Recent Stop the Noiz Columns
- The iPad mini Is Designed for Apple Users, Not Kindle or Nexus Switchers, 2012.11.02. The $329 iPad mini isn't designed to compete with Android tablets. It's meant for Mac, iPhone, iPod, and iTunes users - and new tablet buyers.
- Apple's Real Problem with Samsung, 2012.10.31. It's hard for Apple to trust Samsung as a supplier when Samsung is competing in the smartphone and tablet space.
- Which Is Apple's Biggest Threat, Microsoft or Google?, 2012.10.30. Most people think Apple and Microsoft compete against each other, but that's not exactly true.
- More in the Stop the Noiz index.
Links for the Day
- Mac of the Day: Power Mac 7500, introduced 1995.08.08. This workhorse introduced a new desktop case and CPU daughter cards.
- June 19 in LEM history: 00: Mac software not 'as pathetic as it could be' - 01: Hate Windows? Get a Mac - Little payments, big business - 02: Undoing years of Mac evangelism? - 03: Back on the low-end TiBook - 06: Pimping my PowerBook G4 - 07: Safari for Windows not a slam dunk success - 08: What about the iPod touch? - Falling for the Sony Alpha α200
- Support Low End Mac
Recent Content on Low End Mac
- World Book Encyclopedia 2012 DVD, Tommy Thomas, Reviews, 2013.03.05. "You may be asking yourself, in an age of Wikipedia and instant information, is World Book still relevant?"
- Vintage Computer Festival SouthEast, April 20-21, 2013, Simon Royal, Mac Spectrum, 2013.02.25. Old Apple gear and old PCs.
- iMessage: The Ultimate Messaging Service?, Simon Royal, Mac Spectrum, 2013.02.21. In most ways, Apple's iMessage is far superior to BlackBerry Messenger.
- More links in our archive.
- Best Mac mini Deals
- Best 13" MacBook Pro Deals
- Best Intel iMac Deals
- Best iPod touch Deals
- Best iPhone Deals
- Best iPod nano Deals
- Best iPod classic Deals
- Best Apple TV Prices
- More deals in our archive.
Low End Mac Reader Specials
Cult of Mac
Shrine of Apple
The Mac Observer
Accelerate Your Mac
The Vintage Mac Museum
Mac Driver Museum
System 6 Heaven
System 7 Today
the pickle's Low-End Mac FAQ