Google’s iron grip on Android: Controlling open source by any means necessary "Taking the Android app ecosystem from Google seems easy: just get your own app store up and running, convince developers to upload their apps to it, and you're on your way. But the Google APIs that ship with Play Services are out to stop this by convincing developers to weave dependence on Google into their apps. Google's strategy with Google Play Services is to turn the "Android App Ecosystem" into the "Google Play Ecosystem" by making a developer's life as easy as possible on a Google-approved device—and as difficult as possible on a non-Google-approved device." And the conclusion: "If a company does manage to fork Android and make something compelling outside of Google's ecosystem, there's the little matter of nearly every manufacturer being contractually barred from manufacturing a device that runs the new OS. Even if this new Android derivative is better, for an OEM jumping out of the Google ecosystem, it's probably more trouble—and risk—than it's worth. While Android is open, it's more of a "look but don't touch" kind of open. You're allowed to contribute to Android and allowed to use it for little hobbies, but in nearly every area, the deck is stacked against anyone trying to use Android without Google's blessing. The second you try to take Android and do something that Google doesn't approve of, it will bring the world crashing down upon you." A very good read on alleged 'open source' nature of android.