Acer was prepared to launch a new smartphone earlier today running a modified version of Android known as Aliyun but before anything could materialize, Google stepped in and pulled the plug on those plans. The search giant issued a statement outlining why they elected to stop the launch – perhaps the first time a member of the Open Handset Alliance (OHA) has been met with similar adversity.
Google said that compatibility is the heart of the Android ecosystem and that non-compatible versions of their OS like Aliyun would weaken that ecosystem. They point out that all members of the OHA have committed to building one Android platform. That agreement, however, doesn’t prevent manufacturers from participating in competing ecosystems.
But what about others like Amazon that have created their own version of Android to use on Kindle Fire tablets? It’s simple – Amazon isn’t a member of the OHA and therefore isn’t required to abide by those same restrictions.
The Aliyun OS was developed as a cloud-based operating system by Chinese company Alibaba Group and was first released in July 2011. When it launched, the company pointed out that the OS was fully compatible with Android-based applications but now they are saying it isn’t part of Google’s mobile ecosystem and therefore doesn’t have to be compatible with Android.
Andy Rubin might disagree, however, as a recent Google+ posting says the OS incorporates the Android runtime and was apparently derived from Android. Either way, it must be terribly embarrassing for Acer to cancel a media event with members of the press already enroute.