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Old 11-07-2013, 13:14
thedrewser
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Apart from the moral arguments, is there a technical reason why Google couldn't just turn around and say that it will now only provide Android for it's own (i.e. Motorola) devices?

Now that Android has such a large market share and (more importantly) a captive audience, surely Google must be tempted to "build some walls" and close up Android so that it can increase its profits significantly.

Just curious.
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Old 11-07-2013, 14:28
Step666
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Android has such a large marketshare because it has so many OEMs producing handsets that use it, if it didn't have that and the associated internal competition and the effect that has on prices, it would never have ended up in the position it is now.

If Google were to make Android available only for Motorola devices, most Android users would switch to a different OS.

Anyway, Google makes it's profits from people using Android, no matter which make or model of haandse it is, they make their money through apps and adverts. It's in their best interests to have Android available on the widest range of handsets possible.
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Old 11-07-2013, 17:39
alanwarwic
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Well, the code is all there available.
http://www.chromium.org/
Its the open nature that also makes it there for everyone and very secure.

If they branch and start again with closed code it will be because privacy campaigns have forced them away from the web to earn money exactly like the competitors.
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Old 11-07-2013, 18:14
JulesandSand
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I've no idea about a technical reason but from a business point of view it would be lunacy - denying millions of people access to Google's stores at a stroke.
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Old 11-07-2013, 18:22
Zack06
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The closest Google have to a closed Android system are their own Nexus devices which they control and they should keep it that way.

It would be crazy to close down Android. Just look at how badly Windows Phone is struggling. Apple only have a handful of devices to manage so it's not as much of a problem for them, but Google really couldn't make Android closed at this stage without it leading to disaster.
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Old 11-07-2013, 19:18
Mustabuster
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Android itself is open but the google services (GMS) are not. All the play store services and associated certification are paid for by the handset manufacturers and ultimately you. Imagine a handset without a the Play store and installed google relelated apps on it. It wouldn't be the same.
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Old 11-07-2013, 19:40
Roush
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Apart from the moral arguments, is there a technical reason why Google couldn't just turn around and say that it will now only provide Android for it's own (i.e. Motorola) devices?

Now that Android has such a large market share and (more importantly) a captive audience, surely Google must be tempted to "build some walls" and close up Android so that it can increase its profits significantly.

Just curious.
This was a significant concern of anti-trust regulators around the world when the Google / Motorola deal was being scrutinised.

Google had to pledge to keep Android available for free for at least 5 years in order to satisfy competition regulators in China, but Google clearly wants to keep its options open in the long term, otherwise it would have pledged to keep Android available for free without a time limit on that pledge.

The very fact that Google negotiated a time-limited free-availability pledge should have OEMs concerned about the availability of Android in the long term.
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Old 11-07-2013, 19:57
kidspud
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Android has such a large marketshare because it has so many OEMs producing handsets that use it, if it didn't have that and the associated internal competition and the effect that has on prices, it would never have ended up in the position it is now.

If Google were to make Android available only for Motorola devices, most Android users would switch to a different OS.

Anyway, Google makes it's profits from people using Android, no matter which make or model of haandse it is, they make their money through apps and adverts. It's in their best interests to have Android available on the widest range of handsets possible.
That is not strictly true. There is currently a real problem with the Chinese market where the android phones do not use any google apps and provide no revenue for google. There are a few articles about it.
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Old 11-07-2013, 20:57
alanwarwic
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It would be crazy to close down Android.
Not really.

If you have cross platform income at serious risk, ceasing something that cuts or removes that risk could some day make sense.

And Apple looks to be weaning their users off Google. For them a greater share of advertising income is the aim. Microsoft are doing the same. But obviously, a watered down Google might be the outcome no matter what Google end up doing.

Apple devices themselves may very quickly become 'another China' quite like above. The Kindle Android based device is maybe another.They all do deals to obtain advertising income and will always do what is best for them..
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Old 11-07-2013, 21:11
Zack06
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Not really.

If you have cross platform income at serious risk, ceasing something that cuts or removes that risk could some day make sense.

And Apple looks to be weaning their users off Google. For them a greater share of advertising income is the aim. Microsoft are doing the same. But obviously, a watered down Google might be the outcome no matter what Google end up doing.
Closed source just doesn't fit on a model similar to the one Google has adopted. The PC market is a completely different scenario, in mobile, it doesn't seem to work.

Windows Phone is what Android would most likely have been had it been closed source, and it hasn't been great. Manufacturers jumped on Android because it was relatively inexpensive to use and wasn't tying them down to much. Even those who use Google services are still pretty much free to do what they want with Android within reason, as Samsung, HTC, Sony, LG etc have done.

If Android was closed, I doubt Samsung would be anywhere near as interested, particularly with them trying to get Bada and Tizen off the ground. Why would they continue to invest in a Google controlled OS when they could potentially switch to one they have more control over. At this point in time, Google is relatively flexible with OEMs regarding Android.

The "Google Play Edition" strategy that Google seems to be rolling out is a step towards a more controlled Android, without it being completely closed. I would say that OEM input into Android is as much a weakness as it is a strength of the platform.
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Old 11-07-2013, 23:34
alanwarwic
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It is worth noting that the new Chrome has stopped using Webkit which is now forked into Blink, still open.
Supposedly the fork will make it 'easier for web advancements'. Opera is meant to be making the switch too.
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Old 12-07-2013, 11:21
paulbrock
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technically, no reason.commercially, a very big reason. Google wants its services on as many phones as possible. It makes little to no money from selling hardware, it makes its money by having Search, Maps, Gmail etc up front on mobile devices. Letting any manufacturer use Android is one of the best ways of doing this.
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Old 12-07-2013, 12:26
cnbcwatcher
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That is not strictly true. There is currently a real problem with the Chinese market where the android phones do not use any google apps and provide no revenue for google. There are a few articles about it.
That's because of Internet censorship in China though. Google is blocked there. That means no Youtube for them either
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Old 12-07-2013, 12:55
flagpole
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an important point surely is that many of the components of android will only be licensed to be used in open source projects.
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Old 12-07-2013, 13:01
Roush
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an important point surely is that many of the components of android will only be licensed to be used in open source projects.
Only components released under the GPL, which is pretty much only the kernel.

Everything else is released under the Apache license, which was a deliberate choice by Google to shed the obligation to release source code.

edit: Actually, scratch that. Google even re-wrote the Linux APIs to evade GPL obligations and allow release under the Apache license.
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Old 12-07-2013, 20:04
alanwarwic
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There we go.

'Ban Android'
http://www.neowin.net/news/ban-andro...nd-it-minister
A Microsoft PC was obviously fine because the privacy can be co-controlled with the state.
Android is the only PC phone with user control.

Whilst the author erred, his thoughts possibly go in the same direction as mine.
A major reason to be made closed will be to comply with state requirements.
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Old 13-07-2013, 13:47
finbaar
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Google will never make Android closed. They want as many peolple as possoble to the line and use their servicese. Android and Chromium are their ways to do that but they are happy for you to use Windows, linux, OS X or iOS. In fact iOS without Google would be a very impoverished platform.
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Old 13-07-2013, 14:27
kidspud
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Google will never make Android closed. They want as many peolple as possoble to the line and use their servicese. Android and Chromium are their ways to do that but they are happy for you to use Windows, linux, OS X or iOS. In fact iOS without Google would be a very impoverished platform.
Not sure how you reach that conclusion. The only services I use from google is the search and the maps. However, considering the maps didn't make into the top of the charts list I'm not sure a large number are people are using it.
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