View Full Version : ArsTechnica: Android's Ascent in China Might Not Elevate Google


kjk
07-23-2010, 12:21 PM
http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/news/2010/07/androids-ascent-in-china-is-not-elevating-google.ars

Google's Linux-based Android mobile platform is rapidly gaining traction around the world. Recent reports suggest that it is on a trajectory to become the dominant mobile operating system in China, a region with a large population of mobile Internet users and enormous growth potential.

Although this may seem like an unambiguous victory for Google on the surface, the implications are actually not that clear. It's important to understand that the Chinese mobile ecosystem is producing its own variant of Android, called OPhone. It's a fork of the platform that largely cuts out Google as the middleman. The fork offers Chinese handset makers and mobile carriers considerable autonomy, because it allows them to circumvent the licensing policies and technical mechanisms that Google has traditionally used to exercise control over the platform.


Is it less open if Google is cut out of the equation somewhere along the forking?

kovidgoyal
07-23-2010, 12:25 PM
Excellent news, considering that 99% of Android is open source software. That is how open source software should be used. :thumbsup:

kjk
07-23-2010, 12:35 PM
Excellent news, considering that 99% of Android is open source software. That is how open source software should be used. :thumbsup:

What I think is interesting about this (putting aside the China implications) is that you are right-I think the whole beauty of the idea is that it can be forked as people find different needs/desires...but that does put Google in a precarious position as the current gatekeeper of Android in some ways.

kovidgoyal
07-23-2010, 12:47 PM
Well yes, releasing open source software is not the best way to remain "in control" of anything :)

Still, if they continue to develop Android better than their competitors, people that don't have a vested interest in not using Google products will probably stick with their flavor.

=X=
07-23-2010, 02:00 PM
What I think is interesting about this (putting aside the China implications) is that you are right-I think the whole beauty of the idea is that it can be forked as people find different needs/desires...but that does put Google in a precarious position as the current gatekeeper of Android in some ways.

Well yes and no. Since google owns the Android trademark(I heard they leased or bought the name). This will prohibit any vendor from using the name. This will allow google to maintain control of the android development. Also since Google owns the Android Market they won't have access to any of the apps.

The plus side, being open source, they will be able to leverage technology from each other.

kjk
07-23-2010, 02:11 PM
Well yes and no. Since google owns the Android trademark(I heard they leased or bought the name). This will prohibit any vendor from using the name. This will allow google to maintain control of the android development. Also since Google owns the Android Market they won't have access to any of the apps.

The plus side, being open source, they will be able to leverage technology from each other.

On a related note, I think Verizon has done a masterful job of licensing/marketing the "Droid" trademark from Lucasfilm. They are making Droid=Android in the minds of the public.