Google expected to exercise gradual musc

May 04 [Sat], 2013, 8:25
Original Android MascotAmazing as it sounds,(GOOG) didnt it developed Android to drive mobile traffic to Google services and thus make more money for the company. While that has so far served the company very well, the platforms open-source nature means that companies such as Amazon (AMZN) and Samsung (005930) have been able to design their own versions ofthat place less emphasis on staple Google services and more emphasis on their own. Facebook (FB) , a downloadable app that essentially replaces users Android smartphone home screens with Facebook content.

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The question now is whether Google will do anything to clamp down more on Android and thus prevent third-party developers from moving it too far away from its origins as a Google-centric operating system. ABI Research analystAapo Markkanen expects that Google will exercise some gradual muscle flexing to reassert its control over the platform, though it wont ever go so far as to close the platform to third-party changes all together. If anything, he simply thinks that Google could bar certain Android overlays such as Home from being distributed through the Google Play store going forward.

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The situation, however, may look pretty different once the current land grab stage of the platform race starts to be over, he writes. It is then when itll be the right time for Google to start exercising more control over Android. It is unlikely ever to close-source it, but there are also many other levels it could pull. Google Play is an obvious source of control, and then theres always the option of revamping OHA with a right mix of sticks and carrots e.g. by investing more in partner-exclusive apps and services, and giving the partners a more privileged (that is, earlier) access to new Android versions code.

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