Did Google Really Stop Acer From Making A Non-Android Phone? [Updated]

Acer was planning on launching a low-end phone in China running Aliyun OS, a Linux based operating system that's only relevant to us because it wasn't Android. The phone was meant to be cheap and affordable and was targeted for China. But that phone is no more. Why? Because Google killed it. What?

It's an extremely weird situation. According to Reuters, Acer had teamed with Alibaba, an e-commerce firm in China, to make a phone that used the Aliyun OS. They were set to announce it to a bunch of foreign journalists but once people started showing up for the event, they were barred from the venue because the launch of the phone had been abruptly shut down. Why the cancellation? Alibaba said:

"Our partner received notification from Google that if the new product launch with Aliyun went ahead, Google would terminate Android product cooperation and related technical authorisation with Acer."

Google supposedly threatened Acer that if they released a phone on another OS, that they would pretty much not be allowed to make Android phones again. That's not exactly "don't be evil". What about Google's other Android partners who make Windows Phones? If what Reuters is reporting is true, will Google strong arm them as well? [Reuters, WP Central]

Update: MarketingLand got a statement from Google. The Mountain View-based company said it stopped Acer from making the Aliyun OS phone because Acer is a member of the Open Handset Alliance. The statement:

Compatibility is at the heart of the Android ecosystem and ensures a consistent experience for developers, manufacturers and consumers.

Non-compatible versions of Android, like Aliyun, weaken the ecosystem. All members of the Open Handset Alliance have committed to building one Android platform and to not ship non-compatible Android devices.

This does not however, keep OHA members from participating in competing ecosystems.

[Marketing Land]



    Was it apple that terminated the contract with google as google were starting to make android phones? So now google is doing the same?

      No... Acer are still making Windows Phones (in fact, they'll be making more WP8 phones than Android by 2013), and Google are cool with that, so it's not so petty.

    Pft. Google gets slammed so easy here and and Apple gets praised for doing even the littlest things (yes I mean the iPhone 5)

    Google isn't run by hippies, its a business.

      So I am not the only one here who sees the same thing

    The reasons for this have been widely reported since the original story broke : http://www.androidcentral.com/acer-forced-halt-device-launch-over-android-compliance-here-s-why

    TLDR: Google runs a club that where the rule is if you want to be a part of it (and use official google apps), you agree to a certain level of compatibility in all your Android devices, thus helping to fix Android fragmentation. If you break the rule, you are out of the club. You are not forced to join the club (see Amazon), nor does it have any bearing on your ability to make devices for another OS.

      Nailed it. From a business perspective, it seems entirely reasonable imo... Google isn't stopping Acer from making phones using competing ecosystems, just bastardised versions of Android.

        You think these jokers care? They were looking for an excuse to use that header photo or the one with the dead Android doll. It's no better than Fox News's doctoring of the Reddicliff photo.

        There's deliberate misinformation in the post including this really needless snark "That’s not exactly “don’t be evil”. What about Google’s other Android partners who make Windows Phones?"

        Google doesn't care if their OEMs make WP devices, they don't care if Android is forked either. But if you want to use their own Android Package that includes the Play store, then you need to sign up for OHA membership. Acer agreed to these rules instead of the other options, and broke one of them. But sure Casey, Google = evil right? Keep spreading FUD.

    Why does this story have an image of vampires with diamond shaped teeth?

      ...That's the founders of Google (Larry Page and Sergey Brin) shopped to look 'evil', contradicting their popular motto of 'Don't Be Evil'.

        I think what Drongo means is, why has the author gone out of their way to make the founders of Google look evil (because of one unsubstantiated story that can be read as showing Google in a bad light).

    Lolling at: "Compatibility is at the heart of the Android ecosystem and ensures a consistent experience for developers, manufacturers and consumers."

    You've got to be kidding me right???

    Apple is the most anti-social technology on the planet.

      What does that have to do with this story?

        Everyone knows any mention of Apple or Google, means you have to slam the opposite party over nothing. Where have you been all these years.

    Guys this article is completely misinformed. Alibaba decided to make their own OS but they did it on top of Android (not Linux). Google caught them out and got pissed off. Read this. http://www.theverge.com/2012/9/16/3341712/andy-rubin-aliyun-os-fragmentation

    Seriously, has the parent company of Gizmodo been bought by Apple or something? The level of Apple worship lately is getting nauseating...

    The Aliyun app store is also confirmed to be distributing pirated apps. http://www.androidpolice.com/2012/09/15/aliyun-app-store-confirmed-to-be-distributing-pirated-android-apps-many-from-another-pirate-site/

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