Google Blocks Acer’s Aliyun OS phone

Google Blocks Acer’s Aliyun OS phone

By | September 17th, 2012
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Google has blocked the release of Acer's phone based on Aliyun OS,

developed by Alibaba group in China. It claimed that Aliyun OS was a fork

of Android and Acer as a member of Open Handset Alliance, has pleged not to

support Non-Android Compatible mobile platforms.


														               
							 	 						

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Google blocked the commercial release of a phone made by Acer (to be released in China) based on Android’s rival Aliyun OS developed by a subsidiary of Alibaba Group (the largest retailer for eCommerce in China). It threatened to terminate its Android partnership with Acer if the handset maker released the phone based on Aliyun OS into the market. Alleging that as part of the Open Handset Alliance, Acer had pledged not to allow non-compatible versions of Android into the market and thus prevent further fragmentation of the community. Following these developments, the Android head from Google – Andy Rubin, released a statement on Google+ saying :

 We were surprised to read Alibaba Group’s chief strategy officer Zeng Ming’s quote “We want to be the Android of China” when in fact the Aliyun OS incorporates the Android runtime and was apparently derived from Android.

Based on our analysis of the apps available at http://apps.aliyun.com, the platform tries to but does not succeed in being compatible….

It is important to note here that Aliyun OS has always had the ability to run some amount of Android applications on its platform, which however does not meet the Android compatibility requirements. John Speilch from Alibaba replied by claiming that Google was completely wrong on the matter and that Aliyun was not a fork of Android. He further explained how the crux behind Aliyun OS was Cloud and HTML5 web applications. He said that it is a platform which had its own set of applications and was based on Open Source Linux, unlike Google’s Android which was a closed and restrictive ecosystem. In comparison, Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablet which too is based off Android, has never had any problems with Google because it was never the part of Open Handset Alliance and hence does not not have to be bound by the Google’s rules and regulations.

After this, Andy Rubin followed up with another post on Google+ saying, “there’s really no disputing that Aliyun is based on the Android platform and takes advantage of all the hard work.” He also alleged that the Google apps used in Aliyun’s app store were pirated versions of Google. This time he also accompanied it with an extensive blog post on the Official Android blog explaining Google’s philosophy behind compatibility requirements regarding the Android ecosystem.

Other sources such as ZDNet, also claimed that even if Aliyun was indeed based on Linux, it had an obligation under the GPLv2 license to publicly share the source of their platform with everyone, which indeed could not be found anywhere on Aliyun’s website. ZDNet even pointed out a report on a blog called Android Police which confirmed the fact that the Aliyun app store was distributing pirated apps. What’s more, some original developers even confirmed to the blog that Alibaba had not taken their consent to distribute their apps on the App Store.

These developments have forced Acer to cancel the launch of its phone and it is unlikely that it will be launched again soon until Google and Alibaba reach some sort of agreement or Alibaba agrees to significantly modify its system by removing any Android associated components and apps.

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Ankit Mathur
I have a crush on Java, open source and linux. I also love flirting with almost all other stuff related to mobile and web technologi​es. Feel free poke fun at my articles and I tweet:
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