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Alibaba Says Google Threatened Acer With Banishment From Android 352

Posted by timothy
from the they'd-have-to-use-windows-phone dept.
Spy Handler writes "In a Microsoft-esque move, Google threatened Acer with banishment from Android if it went ahead with its new cellphone project with Alibaba (China's version of Amazon), using an OS called Aliyun. Acer has remained silent on the issue, but Alibaba reports that they received notification from Google, stating 'if the new product launch with Aliyun went ahead, Google would terminate Android product cooperation and related technical authorization with Acer.' A possible reason for Google's upset is that the Aliyun OS, which is not Android, can run Android apps as well as its own."
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Alibaba Says Google Threatened Acer With Banishment From Android

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  • Microsoftesque? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 13, 2012 @04:04PM (#41327245)

    They could still use Android all they wanted if they did this, Google just wasn't going to go out of their way to help them. Don't they have the right to pick and choose who they work with?

    • Re:Microsoftesque? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by gl4ss (559668) on Thursday September 13, 2012 @04:22PM (#41327505) Homepage Journal

      it would mean shipping it with no play store, with no google music and so forth...

      (android isn't exactly free if you want to be "authorized", which means shipping with googles apps and googles api's, and yes there's a subset of the android api's that is for google approved devices only)

      • You mean just like the kindle and the nook?

        Neither has android branding and both have good sales.

        • You mean just like the kindle and the nook?

          Amazon and B&N are first and foremost content sellers -- were long before they got into selling first readers and then tablets -- and sell Kindle/Nook as tools for accessing the digital content they sell. For them, Google Apps (and, particularly, Google Play) would be a bad thing -- something that promotes the competition. So, yeah, for them, Android branding would conflict with the whole purpose of them selling devices in the first place.

          For companies' whose c

      • by kidgenius (704962)
        And your point is.... CM doesn't come with google apps. Nor do Amazon devices. Nor does anything running MIUI If you want the app store, you play by google's rules. You want to go your own way, feel free. There are other Android app stores that Acer could ship with.
        • by h4rr4r (612664)

          At least in the case of CM, people do tend to flash gapps.

          Amazon offers another store, and the nook is just a nice device to install CM on.

    • by MrEricSir (398214)

      They could still use Android all they wanted if they did this, Google just wasn't going to go out of their way to help them. Don't they have the right to pick and choose who they work with?

      The key difference being that Microsoft never pretended their OS was "free" and/or "open" as Google has done.

      • by h4rr4r (612664)

        Android is still apache licensed.

        Not helping someone is not the same as hindering them.

    • the point is, we can't even substantiate any of this - and no matter what they do, it's not "banishment from android". Relevance was lost when this somehow made it to the front page. Proof that if the firehose isnt' watched vigilantly enough bullshit non-articles make it through.

  • Restraint of Trade (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Brett Buck (811747) on Thursday September 13, 2012 @04:05PM (#41327265)

    IANAL, but I think this represents restraint of trade. So not only is it (arguably) evil (TM) it likely also illegal.

          Brett

    • by Antipater (2053064) on Thursday September 13, 2012 @04:15PM (#41327383)
      Not giving special treatment =/= restraint of trade.
      • by Anubis IV (1279820) on Thursday September 13, 2012 @04:22PM (#41327497)

        ^This

        Google has agreements and partnerships with various manufacturers to work with them and help them with Android. That hasn't stopped other companies, such as Amazon, from taking Android and running with it on their own. After all, it's supposed to be an open OS, so anyone can use it for anything at all that they want, really. If Acer is breaking an exclusivity agreement on which their Android partnership with Google is based, Google may simply be reminding/threatening them with the consequences of doing so, but that doesn't mean that Acer will be locked out of Android, just that they will no longer have a partnership with Google, which, once again, is hardly a deal-breaker.

        Is it evil? Sure. Illegal, however? IANAL, but I find it doubtful.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward
          Assuming it's true, I don't think it's evil. Shouldn't Google have every right to refuse to help a company who tries to undercut them? It's not like Google could be saying they'll stop Acer from using Android... Google can't stop them. But Google has every right to say "if you try to damage the growth of our OS, we're not going to help you".
      • by LordLimecat (1103839) on Thursday September 13, 2012 @05:19PM (#41328309)

        Are we even sure this is legit? Im not clear on why Alibaba, and not Acer, would have been the recipient of such a letter: Why would they be a relevant party? And why is it Alibaba, not Acer, who is raising the issue?

        Ive been at slashdot and on the internet long enough to be suspicious when a competitor makes claims like this that are validated by noone else. Maybe its legit, but id want to see something more than accusations by a party with a vested interest in making google look bad.

    • It's probably neither.

      This story doesn't ultimately make any sense whatsoever. Other Google partners produce phones that don't run Android, and the idea that this has something to do with the new OS merely running arbitrary APKs is ridiculous.

      • by gl4ss (559668)

        It's probably neither.

        This story doesn't ultimately make any sense whatsoever. Other Google partners produce phones that don't run Android, and the idea that this has something to do with the new OS merely running arbitrary APKs is ridiculous.

        none of them produce a device that isn't android but runs android apps.

        • cyanogenmod installs on devices without android branding and gives you full access to google services.

          • by Urza9814 (883915)

            Is it installed by any of the manufacturers before purchase? No. Not the same thing. Of course you can do whatever the fuck you want to a phone after you buy it (as much as some manufacturers try to say otherwise...); that has absolutely no relevance to this though, as this is about them selling other phones that SHIP WITH a different OS that can run arbitrary APKs.

        • Other Google partners produce phones that don't run Android, and the idea that this has something to do with the new OS merely running arbitrary APKs is ridiculous.
  • Uhm, proof? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 13, 2012 @04:16PM (#41327401)

    In a tabloid-esque move, /. posts a summary in which it treats an unilateral allegation as fact.

    TFA at least makes it clear that Alibaba is making a unilateral claim and that neither Acer nor Google have commented on it. Furthermore, TFA makes it apparent that Alibaba is offering no letter, email, or voicemail as proof that Google told Acer to nix the deal.

    Whereas the /. summary contains this line: "Acer has remained silent on the issue, but Alibaba reports that they received notification from Google, stating 'if the new product launch with Aliyun went ahead, Google would terminate Android product cooperation and related technical authorization with Acer.'" Which makes it sound as though Google made the threat to Alibaba directly, which isn't even what Alibaba is claiming.

    Look, I'm not a big fan of Google. I think they very frequently ignore their own "don't be evil" advice. But I'm also not a fan very of sloppy editing and poor journalism. Come on /., put more effort in creating your summaries.

  • by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland @ y a hoo.com> on Thursday September 13, 2012 @04:21PM (#41327483) Homepage Journal

    actual evidence.

    Not the I expect much from the troll known as Timothy.

  • by accessbob (962147) on Thursday September 13, 2012 @04:21PM (#41327493)
    Sounds similar to RIM's new BlackBerry OS, that can run Android apps too, but not everything. Does Aliyun have the same restrictions?
  • Single Source (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Attila Dimedici (1036002) on Thursday September 13, 2012 @04:32PM (#41327647)
    There is only a single source for this. That source is a company that is looking for publicity for a product they are producing which they hope to have compete in a marketplace where the established players (Ios from Apple, Android from Googloe) have both a relatively polished product and position to control "mindshare". This makes me somewhat suspicious of the story.
  • And no comments from anyone at Google and Acer...

    It would seem a bit hypocritical to say "don't run against our ABI" after their line of defense was "ABIs are so generic" in the Java/Dalvik case.

    • by tlhIngan (30335)

      And no comments from anyone at Google and Acer...

      No comments from Google Tokyo or Acer Taiwan [reuters.com]. Google (Mountain View) could make a statement about it soon enough. Given the timing of this, I'm guessing Google HQ has not had time to analyze what happened yet.

      Though, Acer not commenting isn't unusual - Google could've told them to not mention anything about it publicly, or else they'll lose it as well. After all, what happens inside the OHA is probably covered by many NDAs (like Honeycomb source code).

  • You all trust Alibaba, the guy who swindled from 40 thieves? What has become of us all ? "In Swindlers We Trust". PS: You can replace 'Alibaba', '40 thieves' and 'Swindlers' with whatever you want... Google... anything.
  • Looks like a complete cock-and-bull story.

    C'mon Slashdot editors. Take two minutes and check this stuff out first.

  • While I'll not question the sincerity or truthfulness of the original post as others have beat me to that, I will question equating Alibaba to Amazon.

    I consider Alibaba a slightly inferior peer to EBay which puts it way, way lower than Amazon in my book.

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