“A Sept. 13 news conference announcing the China launch of a high-end Acer smartphone running a cloud operating system made by Alibaba Group was abruptly canceled after Google, owner of the Android OS, threatened to cancel Acer’s license to use Android for its other phones if the launch went ahead.
A spokesman for Alibaba Cloud Computing, developer of the Aliyun 2.0 cloud OS, called Google’s action "clearly unfair to consumers and we are concerned about the impact on customer access to competitive products."”
see Acer Postpones Aliyun-OS Phone Launch After Pressure from Google.
I am not sure what’s going on. Have rumour and speculation overcome the actors’ good sense? I don’t see why Google would be upset by Acer putting another OS on a smart phone, particularly if it’s not iOS. One smart phone is inconsequential and Google still will get ad revenue from browsers. Everyone should check the licences. Acer doesn’t need Google’s permission to use the Android SDK nor Android/Linux. It’s Free Software except that binary-only is allowed for the non-GPL parts. So, what threat could Google make? They could inform Acer they would prefer an Android smart phone and that’s it. Acer could take or leave such advice.
I will wait and see. I expect to see Acer make their announcement without any hindrance from Google.
UPDATE As I expected, “An unnamed Acer official told Dow Jones that the company will still attempt to launch its non-Android phone. “Acer will continue to communicate with Google and the company still wants to launch the new smartphone based on Alibaba software,”"
see Ars Technica – Report: Google threatened Acer, forced it to dump rival OS
UPDATE Apparently the issue is “compatibility”. Google objects to Aliyun being able to run some Android apps without being compatible. Aliyun is apparently built on Linux and not in the Android/Linux camp at all so Acer’s agreement to not fork Android/Linux does not apply… Hmmm. Frustrated OEMs are demanding that Google define “Android” to avoid a repeat. They see Google not being reliable in this. Imagine if Ubuntu came out with an ability to run Android apps… Oops, they already have.
UPDATE It looks as if everyone understands the issues now. People are actually talking. I expect this will blow over with a reasonable result.
“if you want to benefit from the Android ecosystem, then make the choice to be compatible. It’s easy, free, and we’ll even help you out. But if you don’t want to be compatible, then don’t expect help from OHA members that are all working to support and build a unified Android ecosystem.”