Report: the Google – Motorola merger has made Android manufacturers unhappy

by: Mike AndriciApril 9, 2012
4 52 3

Google Motorola merger
In case you can’t remember, before any authority gave its go-ahead on the Google-Motorola merger, Mountain View’s officials were suspiciously quick to step up and announce that Google will treat Motorola much like a separate entity. At the time of the aforementioned announcement, many people believed that Google is honestly engaged in respecting that commitment, but there were also voices that pointed out that this is exactly the announcement Google had to make in order to ensure a worldwide approval of the merger.

As it stands, Google’s acquisition of Motorola is pretty much a done deal, despite the fact that China’s approval is still pending. So who’s to say Google won’t start favorizing their in-house manufacturer as soon as the next quarter? Apparently, nobody, as an industry insider recently told Business Insider that several Android manufacturers felt insulted by Google’s decision to buy their own manufacturer. As it turns out, some companies believe that they will soon start being treated as second rate customers.

The unnamed insider went on to confirm previous rumors on the subject by claiming that an increasing number of manufacturers plan to start releasing devices running forked (modified) versions of Android as soon as the end of this year. But as it turns out, manufacturers are so sick of being unable to distinguish themselves in the Android manufacturer jungle that they are also planning on developing their own operating systems.

Forked versions of Android are reportedly considered as a solution only until the manufacturers in question are able to come up with a mobile OS of their own. Apparently, these manufactures felt highly encouraged by the commercial success of Amazon’s Kindle Fire, as well as that of Barnes & Noble’s Nook tablets.

While the names of the unsatisfied manufacturers are unknown, it is unlikely that successful manufacturers such as HTC, Samsung, or ASUS would have any reason to turn their backs on Android. But it should be noted that Business Insider’s source did mention that a big device maker has already completed work on a forked version of Android. I’m no prophet, but Dell and LG are a couple of names I’m willing to wager some spare change on.

According to the source, the first Google Experience tablet will still be built by ASUS (as previously rumored), but its follow-up will be built by Motorola. Just so it’s noted, even if Google doesn’t start giving special privileges to Motorola, Big M is likely to be one of the Nexus device manufacturers in the future. HTC and Samsung also manufactured Nexus devices in the past, so why wouldn’t Motorola get that chance?

If you thought the Android ecosystem is fragmented at this point, I’m sure we’ll have to come up with a more powerful word to describe the situation if an increasing number of forked versions of Android will soon populate the consumer market. I’m sincerely hoping this won’t happen, but feel free to crush my optimism in the comment section below!

  • craig0r

    What a dumb idea. Nokia’s saved their own ass by ditching their proprietary OS, and these other manufacturers think doing the opposite is a wise business move? Who do they think they are? Apple? We’ve seen so many proprietary OS’s fail before: WebOS, Symbian, Bada (at least I think, I’ve never actually seen a Bada device), and BlackBerry’s going that way too. They should really pour more effort into customizing Android and putting out appealing hardware.

    Unless they can somehow (a la BlackBerry) include the Play Store on their new OS’s, everyone will just flock to Motorola when their contracts are up. Which would make Google happy, so I don’t see them allowing more third-party access to the Play Store.

  • Joshua Powers

    I don’t see why manufactures would be sick of not being able to differentiate themselves, Google already gives a lot of leeway when it comes to customizing android, with the only rules they do have is to maintain app compatibility (which is reasonable.) I could see Facebook making an android based phone because they would like you to use Facebook points (or credits or what ever they call them) to spend in free to play games like their web site. If they can fork android and convince developers to support another ecosystem then more power to them, but the fact they rely on third party OS’s already suggest they couldn’t build an os to save their lives.

    • Kookas

      Yeah, you only have to take one look at HTC for an example. What Android user doesn’t recognise that distinctive flip clock that has appeared on every device of theirs for the past few years? That’s what every manufacturer wants, a distinguishable identity, and it only takes something like that to remain consistent against all else to create one.

  • Kindroid

    Mindless bullcrap. If any of these companies are serious, it should be reported so shareholders can dump their investments before the shit hits the fan. Even if G had not bought Big M, there is every reason to assume at some time in the future Motorola would have been offered the chance for a Nexus build.

    Further, anything that comes out of Big M in the future is likely to be a clean build of Android. Other manufacturers really aren’t interested in a clean Android builds. Look at how Samsung has handled the Galaxy Nexus…its no Nexus One…from a pure Android point of veiw. It is the fact that G allows them so much leeway in their customizing Android that makes Android popular with them to begin with. It gives them the ability to differentiate their product from competitors. What operating system would they turn to that gives them more freedom…iOS…Windows Phone 7 ?

    Oh they will develop their own. Look how that turned out for Nokia. They could fork Android…and burden themselves with maintaining their fork…a rat hole for money if there ever was one. Only an idiot would think they could maintain an OS to compete with Apple.

    If there is any CEO out there looking at Amazon and the Kindle Fire and thinking they could replicate that success…the Board of that company needs to fire his butt right now. If he is prepared to screw up on a decision as simple as this….MY GOD…how bad is he screwing up on really complicated management decisions.

    Non-story. YAWN.

    • Iphonesinthebackdoor

      Ya, i dont c how they can think they can pull an amazon without any content of their own. u said it perfectly

  • gbgamer

    I’ll still just samsung or sony phones. I will not use a Motorola phone, ever.

    • Kookas

      I once decided to avoid them in the smartphone market because of their obsessive closedness, but I think their acquisition by Google ought to reverse that image.

  • Chinese officials have extended their investigation of the pending merger of Google and Motorola Mobility.

  • ur-mobile com have a blinding offer on the Motorola Pro Plus at the moment, currently at £179.99, but with a £30 voucher makes its £149.99 the offer code is: UROFFERSMOTO
    Motorola Pro Plus