Bad Guy Google? Acer Cancels Launch Of Non-Android Device After Pressure From Google

It was announced a few nights ago that Acer would release a new device running the Linux-based Aliyun OS developed by Alibaba for China. Dow Jones reported today that this didn’t sit too well with Google who — according to an Acer representative —  told Acer they would “terminate its Android-related cooperation and other technology licensing with our partner.”

It’s this strong language that caused the last minute shutting down of an Acer unveiling event, leaving the press who were to attend the event scratching their heads. Acer is still talking it over with Google and would like to go through with releasing an Aliyun OS device for the Chinese market, but it’s up in the air at this point.

In reaction to the news, Alibaba was quoted by CNET today saying, “we respect and understand our partner’s decision to postpone the introduction of the phone, and are dismayed by the impact this dispute has had on our partner.”

Google has long had a reputation for having a lax relationship with its Android partners, letting them slice and hack up their OS to suit their tastes (and motives). This marks the first we’ve heard of Google playing hardball with OEM’s and we have to admit, sounds very unlike Google who’s seemingly okay with manufacturers releasing devices with rival OS’s (Windows Phone 8) around the world. That being said, something sound fishy about all this and we’ll have to wait for Google to issue a statement to hear their side of the story.

For those interested, I’ve included a quick video showing off the mobile OS that allegedly has Google in a tizzy. I admit, it doesn’t look half bad but maybe that’s because it’s essentially a fork of Android (can even run Android apps natively).

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  • Jayrock

    For some odd reason i like google playing hard ball.

    • warcaster

      Yes, but I’d like them to do this when it comes to standardizing Android a lot more, or maybe even forcing some of the noname manufacturers to use stock Android. But this I don’t agree with…

      • Unorthodox

        I second that. Disallowing alternative products that will die anyways made me thinking. I’m a long time Android/Google fanboy, but if they start working against competition I may have a change of heart. I would sympathize with playing hard ball about Android customizations, but not this.

      • meliorist

        I don’t think they should totally disallow OEMs from skinning Android. It would be hard to do right now, given that Android is already open source, but even if it were possible, it would not be a good idea. Variety is part of Android’s creativity. If an OEM produces really terrible skins and crudware, they will not do too well in the market, but if they produce a nice skin, or some clever built-in software, Android gains, and so do consumers.

    • IronHorse01

      Hmm could it be because you’re a fanboy?

    • DarrenR

      I wish they would start doing this with the manufacturer overlays and bootloader BS.

  • johnny989

    What an ugly OS. While I don’t agree with Google putting Acer’s balls in a vice, they’re doing Acer a favor.

  • ari_free

    Supposedly Aliyun is able to run Android apps

    • Chris Chavez

      Yeah, from what I understand, it’s a fork of Android. Google hasn’t exactly had the best relationship with China (they’re not even the #1 search engine over there).

      It definitely sounds like there’s a lot more to the story. We’ll have to wait for a response from Google to hear their side.

      • ari_free

        If it is what I think it is (piracy) then everyone will just want to keep quiet, move along and pretend that nothing ever happened.

      • PC_Tool

        But why now? MIUI is also a fork of Android…and has been around a hell of a lot longer.

  • Alu Zeros

    looks pretty crappy, can’t really see why google would be worried

    • ari_free

      There are lots of crappy custom skins and Google has no problem with that. I don’t know what the story is…I do know that Google doesn’t let google apps (such as Play) for non google approved devices and if Acer was using them then that’s not right.


    Nothing wrong with self preservation. Google doesn’t want to associate with Acer if they use a sub-par OS, I would do the same thing.

  • b_to_the_randon

    That OS looks very “palm”y. Good to keep in mind too that Baidu and Alibaba are big competitors in that market, and specifically Google is heavily handicapped with having any influence over there since they rerouted all their traffic to Hong Kong over concerns with censorship. So far as I understand they have a very weak presence in China largely due to government intervention.

  • Canon User

    Well first of all, this sounds like only part of the story. I get the feeling it would make more sense if we had the whole story. And it starts to come into focus some if ari_free’s comment below is correct and this Aliyun OS is able to run Android apps.

    The time has come for Google to take off the gloves and start playing dirty with their IP. If they don’t, Apple is going to ruin the game for everyone. So if this OS is a casualty of war, I’ll lose no sleep…

    • ari_free

      If it is able to bypass Google Play then it would create a big piracy problem.

      • Canon User

        I guess that depends what you mean by bypass. I have no problem with bypassing Google Play, and you can do that with any Android device. And in fact neither does Google as evidenced by the ‘install from unknown sources’ checkbox, or things like Kindle and the Amazon App Store. If you mean something like what some other comments have said, that the Aliyun store is full of pirated Android apps, then yeah that’s a problem.

    • Aslan Bollin

      Aliyun will run android apps because Aliyun OS is Android. Its just modified much like MiUi or Amazons OS on the Kindle Fire or B&Ns Nooks.

  • PuzzledObserver

    Android is open source. What kind of pressure Google can do on a manufacturer?

    • bmg314

      Acer stands to make alot more money with the much more popular Android than a startup os. Acer does not want to lose that relationship.

    • Matthew Merrick

      google controls which devices have play store access.

  • SuperTomcat

    Maybe because Acer is not Samsung or HTC and the pressure is higher on it.
    If it is true is really sad, Android and Google is based in customer desicion and its performance is everything. Make pressure over another, if it is true just is putting Google to the same level than Apple.

  • SuperTomcat

    What would happen with Samsung and Tizen next year?

  • Saif

    Need the full story to comment on this

  • guitarist5122

    I would hope this isn’t true. There should always be more competition. That phone however looks ugly. The OS is ok for being an initial release.

  • ReverseRoxas

    I dunno… I think that the fact is Acer was making it’s own OS, and yet they wanted to continue using Android until the OS would (or could) take off… That’s like using Google as a clutch more than a partner… If Acer wanted to manufacture their own OS and hardware, I wouldn’t want them standing under my umbrella… I kinda see where Google is coming from on this one…

    • Matthew Merrick

      but this ISN’T acer making its own OS, its a half-ass chinese bastardization of android made by a questionable third party, fully of malware (unverified, just what i’ve heard) and pirated content.
      Google is saving acer from themselves, at this point.

  • HellG

    as far as i heard from a Chinese guy over on AndroidPolice, that this System is a rip off android with market full of pirated content and some other stuff that hurts android as a whole, they simply broke some android agreements with that “OS”

    • Jamille Browne

      Thats what I figured was the problem but still makes me wonder why Google isn’t going After Apple with this in consideration.

  • Yury H

    Looks like a bad Android launcher (x

  • rsanchez1

    I thought Google was open.

    • PC_Tool

      repo sync -j4

  • Baconator

    I agree with Google. Just look at Aliyun’s app store, , it has plenty of pirated Android apps. I would be mad too if one of my partners was building a device for competitors OS whose apps are almost all stolen. It took some time for Google to get some pretty good apps for Android, Aliyun just stole all of the developer’s and Google’s hard work.

  • Jon James


  • mike payton

    the real news here: Acer still makes stuff.

  • PC_Tool

    Something isn’t right. We don’t have all the facts. MIUI (A heavily modified Android fork) has been around for ages and is being sold on devices in China. Google has never, as far as I know, even publicly acknowledged it’s existence.

    So why all of the sudden go this route on an OS no-one has ever heard of?

  • faceless128

    no doubt they did this because it’s forked.

  • Brian S.

    There must be something we are missing here. Because there is no reason to believe that Google should NEVER say they will drop support from a partner. There is probably a good reason.

  • Dean Politis

    I don’t think Google is being evil. Do you really think it is fair that the Chinese government banned the Nexus 7? Don’t you think it would be an insult for Acer to sell a device based on Google technology when Google is being banned from selling their own device in that market?

    Google has has never seemed to have an issue with Amazon and Barnes & Noble using their own custom-builds of Android or with their OEMs building devices with rival OSes. Perhaps Google is alright with these situations because it is a level playing field. Whereas in China, the government is trying to cripple Google’s ability to compete.

  • Luis J L

    I think it could be cause it looks too much like a crappy slower version of android, and they don’t want people to think is actually android.

  • DavidVarghese

    This OS looks like Android and iOS put together… I sense a lawsuit from Apple in the future

  • renGek

    I don’t see this as evil in any way. First, we don’t have all the details. Second, if Acer continued anyway they can still use android. Google can’t prevent anyone from using android. Third, its no different than you asking your friend to help you out by not doing business with someone you don’t like. If your friend doesn’t have a close relationship with the vendor then its a no brainer for your friend to help you out. We’ve all done something to that effect with family and friends. Why should we tell a company they can’t do the same thing?

  • Fahim Yaqoob

    read the new article, this was a speculation