UPDATED: PROOF: Google Is Putting Motorola First.. Maybe Not So Much

Posted on Sep 7 2011 - 4:16pm by Kyle

Although some may be skeptical as to Florian Mueller’s credentials to blog on patents, one thing is for sure and that is Mueller can read, and read it was when he uncovered a bombshell hidden in the documentation for the Oracle vs Google lawsuit today.

Although LG, HTC and Samsung seemed to be ok with the idea that Google was using their strategic purchase of Motorola to defend Android manufacturers in patent litigation, what’s been uncovered today speaks to Google’s intent with the hardware part of the business.  Now, it doesn’t seem so brash that Samsung called an emergency all hands meeting at their South Korean headquarters immediately following the Motorola announcement.

Much more after the break

Mueller discovered in a document presented by Google to Judge Alsup (the judge in the Oracle case) that shows a few disturbing factors.  The first is that Google isn’t as open as they claimed to be in regards to Android. The second is that they are going to let Motorola and Verizon have lead time in regards to new Android operating systems and hardware.

Ok this document is totally legit anyone with access to Lexis can retrieve it.  Judge Alsup made it public.  For those of you whose glasses aren’t working correctly let’s just extrapolate the part Mueller highlighted in red.

  • Do not develop in the open. Instead, make source code available after innovation is complete
  • Lead device concept: Give early access to the software to partners who build and distribute devices to our specification (ie, Motorola and Verizon). They get a non-contractual time to market advantage and in return they align to our standard.

As we’ve already seen Google has adhered to that “Do Not Develop In The Open” part with Honeycomb. While they’ve released the source code to all the previous versions of Android, they held back at Honeycomb citing that they needed it optimized for phones first. While that made sense at the time, we will have to see how free flowing Google is with the source code for Ice Cream Sandwitch.

The second part, puts any doubt behind us. Sure other manufactures may get the chance to release the next Nexus phone, it’s clear that Motorola will get the lead time. In fact the red highlighted part goes on to say

  • They get a contractual time to market advantage and in return they align to our standard

Update:
After we hit publish we got a barrage of emails and tweet messages about the source of this piece. The document was actually reported on months ago when there was rumors that Andy Rubin was going to make Android a little more closed. As first reported on March 31, 2011 by our west coast editor Brent Fishman here, Google hopes to curb fragmentation by operating by the fundamentals above.  According to one source, Motorola and Verizon were used as exampled of Good Android partners in that document before Google announced it would buy Motorola.

Over at Foss Patents, Mueller contends that if Motorola was getting favorites before the merger was announced, of course they will get favorites after the deal is done.

comment below:

source: Foss Patents

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  • Schmidtmj+droidguy

    It actually says “they get a non-contractual time to market advantage”.  

  • mikejs78

    This is not proof in the slightest.  The document is an old one, not one that has to do with the merger.  In it it uses Motorola as an example, which has been done in the past (Droid for Android 2.0, Xoom for Android 3.0).  It has also been done with HTC (Nexus 1 for Android 2.1) and Samsung (Nexus S and Nexus Prime for Android 2.3 and Ice Cream Sandwich, respectively).  Please do not report what this anti-Google troll at Foss Patents is trying to pass off as news. This is nothing new and is shoddy journalism at its worst (not blaming you, this is more of a mark against FOSS).  

  • http://www.linuxrants.com Linux Rants

    I’d like to congratulate Mr. Florian Mueller on his excellent job of finding a typo. Where the document says “ie”, it should instead say “eg”. As to this being proof of anything other than Google needs to hire a better proof reader, I’m not convinced. Not remotely.

  • The Droid Guy

    Yeah I think we should have listened to your advice about Mueller over the weekend

  • http://twitter.com/TriadX1 TriadX1

    I certainly do not see this as proof of anything. In fact, they way I read it is if you design to their standard, you get advanced release.  I think we all would LOVE to see manufactures design to Google standards like the Nexus devices and how Motorola did on the Xoom, unlockable bootloader, no crapware, no Blur etc, 

  • http://digg.com/users/OmegaWolf Silver Fang

    ie, eg, same thing.

  • Anonymous

    There is nothing new here. This is the way it has been from the start with Android. Some handset vendors that play ball with Google get the code before others; like Motorola with the OG Droid and the Zoom. And Google has never allowed truly open development on Android. They develop it and when it is ready and after their partners get it, then it gets released as Open Source. 

    The only think surprising here is that some people were surprised to learn this.

  • http://twitter.com/Montalbert Scott

    nothing like a good misleading title and an article about absolute crap to increase clicks to your website- i fell for it.  I suppose i will have to be spammed for the next 48hrs with it on twitter as well..

    this is obviously about the droid as someone posted above.  Android is not fully open- Google develop it and THEN they drop their stuff into the aosp….