Google Android’s dirty secret: You buy an Android phone, you hand power back to the telecoms

Apple Online Store“Google Android began with the greatest of intentions — freedom, openness, and quality software for all,” Jason Hiner writes for techRepublic. “However, freedom always comes with price, and often results in unintended consequences. With Android, one of the most important of those unintended consequences is now becoming clear as Google gets increasingly pragmatic about the smartphone market and less and less tied to its original ideals.”

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Hiner writes, “Here’s the dirty little secret about Android: After all the work Apple did to get AT&T to relinquish device control for the iPhone and all the great efforts Google made to get the FCC and the U.S. telecoms to agree to open access rules as part of the 700 MHz auction, Android is taking all of those gains and handing the power back to the telecoms.”

“When Apple convinced AT&T not to plaster its logo on the iPhone or preload it with a bunch of AT&T bloatware, it was an important first step for smartphones to emerge as independent computers that were no longer crippled by the limitations put on them by the selfish interests of the telecom carriers, who typically wanted to upsell and nickle-dime customers for every extra app and feature on the phone.,” Hiner writes. “By some reports, the Open Handset Alliance is in now shambles. Members such as HTC have gone off and added lots of their own software and customizations to their Android devices without contributing any code back to the Alliance. Motorola and Samsung have begun taking the same approach. The collaborative spirit is gone — if it ever existed at all. And, Google is proving to be a poor shepherd for the wolves-in-sheep’s-clothing that make up the telecoms and the handset makers in the Alliance.”

Hiner writes, “As a result, we now have a situation where the U.S. telecoms are reconsolidating their power and putting customers at a disadvantage. And, their empowering factor is Android. The carriers and handset makers can do anything they want with it. Unfortunately, that now includes loading lots of their own crapware onto these Android devices, using marketing schemes that confuse buyers (see the Samsung Galaxy S), and nickle-and-diming customers with added fees to run certain apps such as tethering, GPS navigation, and mobile video.”

There’s much more in the full article – very highly recommended – here.

MacDailyNews Take: That’s right, the platform whose biggest selling point (besides, “Verizon doesn’t have the iPhone”) is being “open,” is actually the platform that’s closing off the hard won freedom Apple is trying to hand to mobile users.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Dangerfrog” and “Anthony M.” for the heads up.]

24 Comments

  1. Open handset alliance my arse. The iPhone could never have been made by committee and certainly couldn’t be bested by a bunch of folks only there to protect their own interests. They’re the best thing that could have happened to Apple.

  2. They don’t call it the Open Handjob Alliance for nothing.

    This sadly sounds like something out of Star Wars: The Open Alliance and Trade Federation are being crushed by the Empire. Furthering this thought, at the same time, Google is gettin’ jiggy wit Verizon about making you grab your ankles on the issue of bandwidth. So quietly, the status quo is being reasserted and the hegemony of the telcos is again becoming the norm.

    Meanwhile, the pundits are falling all over themselves and creaming in their jeans about Android. I guess the talk about the Dark Side being so great because they offer cookies is apparently working. Frigtards.

    Remember kiddies, Google is your friend. Just ask them. Oh, and I am sure you won’t mind Google and Facebook harvesting all your private information, so just keep blithly giving it away to play stupid Farmville.

    By the way, why is it that I have to put up with seeing Windows 7 and netbook ads on this page? Last I checked, I am pretty sure this is a Mac fanboy site. Talk about wasted advertising impressions…

  3. This telco obsession with control was what lost Verizon the 1st crack @ iPhone. They tried their arrogance on Apple and Apple told them where to put it… Steve jobs has a very long memory and like they say, you can’t change a leopard’s spots… Verizon won’t change it’s arrogant ways and Jobs won’t compromise his products or company principles, which makes T Mobile and Sprint bigger likelihoods than Verizon, when the time comes to expand. 

    It’s hard to believe that having broken the long standing manipulative strangling models of the telco industry with the iPhone, Apple will feed the biggest monster (Verizon) without guarantees of the sort that I just don’t see Verizon ever giving.   

  4. Sorry. No blogs. I restrict the venting of my spleen to these pages. No sense being a pundit when it’s more fun taking pot shots at them. It’s so very…therapeutic.

    Oh, and the “I like the cut of your jibe” quip – great pick-up line!

  5. Umm, duh.

    Open source means anyone’s free to take and modify it. Who didn’t see this coming? What’s going to happen… Google’s going to lose interest, eventually leaving the handset makers and carriers with an out-dated mobile OS. Microsoft will then swoop in and save the day for these morons.

  6. @Google is your friend – not
    Why not let Windows 7 advertising pay for some of the costs of running a pro-Mac website?! It won’t do the advertisers any good, though…

  7. @Google Is Your Friend – not,
    Yes, and it’s all going “according to plan”. Google enables the OHA like Palpatine manipulated the Trade Federation to rise to power, and when the OHA/Trade Federation starts to look like the bully and the bad guy, Google/Emperor will swoop in with the Storm Trooper clone army (Chrome OS) lying in wait and says to the (Re)public: If you don’t want to be forced to comply with Trade Federtation/OHA, then just switch to All Google All the Time default page/desktop/app. And people will fall in line since what they really want is conformity (let’s Face[book] it).

  8. Out of curiosity, what freedom is Apple and AT&T handing back to consumers, MDN? Just asking a question.

    I presumed that Apple is taking away control from AT&T and giving it to…Apple. Consumers in the mobile market are like eastern europeans from 1939 to 1945: Nazis roll in, Soviets roll out. Reverse and repeat.

  9. The freedom from telcos controlling and holding back the software potential, which is directly responsible for the iPhone user experience, which sets the new standard for mobile smart phones.

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