A few days ago, the Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba expressed its excitement over the new phone manufactuers that are adopting its Aliyun Operating System on their handsets. It had been revealed shortly thereafter that Acer was one of such companies. However, on the day that Acer was supposed to launch its new Aliyun-based smartphone called CloudMobile A800, Acer cancelled the press event due to “internal reasons.”
Alibaba claims that the cancellation was due to pressure from Google on the Taiwanese electronics giant. In an interview with CNET, Aliyun stated that “Our partner [Acer] was notified by Google that if the product runs Aliyun OS, Google will terminate its Android-related cooperation and other technology licensing with our partner.” Furthermore, “We respect and understand our partner’s decision to postpone the introduction of the phone, and are dismayed by the impact this dispute has had on our partner.”
Meanwhile, Acer remains hopeful that it will be able to sort things out with Google as well as launch the CloudMobile A800 smartphone eventually. Acer, it should be noted, currently has more than 90% of its phones running on the Android platform after it decided to branch out from making PCs to offering mobile devices.
Google, for its part, has not yet issued an official statement regarding the matter.
The situation reflects the intense competition in the smartphone industry in China. According to the market research company IDC, the country is poised on becoming the biggest smartphone market globally, even surpassing the United States. These sales are driven mostly by inexpensive devices below $100 which typically run on Android OS.
Alibaba aims to gain better control of the market in its home country by marketing Aliyun OS as an alternative to the Google-owned platform. Like Android, Aliyun is also based on Linux. The e-commerce company is generally optimistic about this goal, especially in light of Android’s legal problems as well as Google’s issues with the government in China.