Partners See Google-Motorola Marriage as a Big "FU"

An unnamed mobile industry source told Business Insider that Google's decision to purchase Motorola was a big "F-U" to its Android partners. The source also gave insight as to why Google is stepping up to create its own Nexus-branded tablet, painting the picture of a demanding dictator and partners reluctant to take further orders from their Android commander.

The theme for 2012, according to the source, will be "forking." That's what Amazon did with the Kindle Fire by taking the base OS and layering on its own features, thus providing an Amazon experience. Barnes & Noble did the same with its Nook tablets as well as a few others, and they won't be the last. This will become rampant this year, especially on the Chinese market.

On the handset side, manufacturers are sick of Google even though the OS is served up free. They no longer wish to be dictated to harshly, and are thus jumping the Android ship and developing their own mobile operating systems. This will help distinguish their products from other manufacturers which right now isn't the case thanks to Android's consistent appearance across the board.

But Google plans to push on with Android, offering its own Google Experience tablet later this year, as the company currently believes the Android tablet market is broken. This device will reportedly be built by Asus, followed by a more official version churned out by Motorola once the acquisition is final (still waiting on China's approval).

Current partners see this Google-Motorola marriage as a potential threat, that they will be treated like second rate customers. Because of this, they're accelerating their plans to produce proprietary products. Handset makers reportedly laugh at the thought that Google will keep Motorola at an arm's length. They even see the acquisition as a big "F-U" to everyone.

That said, until handset manufacturers produce their own OS, they will continue to use Android, but alter the software to make it more proprietary as Amazon did. Honestly, Amazon merely threw on a custom launcher, but left the option open for users to install third-party apps... including launchers to make the tablet more Android-like in appearance.

Google's latest version of Android -- v4.0 "Ice Cream Sandwich" -- made its debut back in November 2011. As of this writing, the update resides on a mere 2.9-percent of all Android devices. As ZDNet points out, the Android fragmentation is horrendous, spanning v1.5 "Cupcake" on 0.3-percent of the devices to v4.0.3 "ICS" on 2.4-percent. Most of the Android devices on the market use v2.3 to 2.3.7 "Gingerbread" while three separate releases of v3.0 Honeycomb reside on tablets. On a whole, there are no fewer than 11 active versions of Android in the installed user base.

And now smartphone and tablet manufacturers want to create their own flavor of Android, following Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Looks like the fragmented Android market is about to get even messier.

Kevin started taking PCs apart in the 90s when Quake was on the way and his PC lacked the required components. Since then, he’s loved all things PC-related and cool gadgets ranging from the New Nintendo 3DS to Android tablets. He is currently a contributor at Digital Trends, writing about everything from computers to how-to content on Windows and Macs to reviews of the latest laptops from HP, Dell, Lenovo, and more. 

  • illo
    FU! we'll still use android, were just gonna make it look like our own product now! that'll show 'em!
  • burnley14
    Off to the side, Apple claps excitedly watching the competition fall apart.

    Now Android will be even more fragmented. Ugh.
  • andruszko
    LOLOL BREAKING NEWS: Companies are going to retaliate against Google by doing exactly what they have been.

    That's all I've got.
  • eddieroolz
    Google did set themselves up for this with the acquisition of Motorola. I mean, you've got a lot of OEMs wonder they feel threatened.
  • Darkerson
    Awesome! Let's fracture Android even more. That'll learn em!
  • scook9
    This is laughable to me....all android handsets look the same haha? I WISH!

    Manufacturers are already busy "customizing" their handsets (read: ruining) with shitty skins to distinguish themselves. If they cut that out, they would enjoy much more success from android as more of their stuff would be running later versions and performance would be much less of a concern. I really cannot wait for the day that you can buy a phone and put whatever OS on it you want just like a computer
  • chuckydb
    Right, manufacturers will jump ship from the OS that made them revevant...
    1- This late in the game, if windows phone has a hard time succeding, how can a lonely OS fare?
    2- If the acquisition was an FU, it was to Apple, cause now Google owns all the Motorola patents and Android is a bit stronger in the Lawsuit nightmare.

    3- Google branded phones... So what, if they still have android on other phones, then where is the problem. Google ain't dumbed. They know one of the strenght of Android is that many use it, then ain't gonna close themselves and make an RIM out of themselves.
  • alidan
    so... let me get this straight...
    people want a smart phone
    they want apps
    these oems decide lets make the os ourselves,
    going in with 0 apps...
    i see allot of abandonware in the near furture.

    you want an app market and want a realistic shot at apple... step up you game oems.
  • chuckydb
    BREAKING NEWS: ''Computer manufacturers are tired of having MS updating windows as they see fit and threatens to each develop their own OS to rival windows.''

    That will work out well!!!
  • chuckydb
    alidanyou want an app market and want a realistic shot at apple... step up you game oems.They will never succeed. Apple got success because they were ahead of the curve, but now it is WAY too late.