Will Android remain open?

Finally today morning I managed to listen the conference call (see the end of the press release for a link  to listen to it) about Google’s acquisition of Motorola Mobility. Nothing very special was reveaded, but it was interesting to hear Google CEO and co-founder Larry Page and mobility chief Andy Rubin argue many times that Android will remain open and licensed to many manufacturers.

“We built Android open and it will stay that way”, said Larry Page on the conference call to investors and media. He also praised how they launched the Open Handset Alliance where Motorola was one of the founding members.

“Android is still open and we want to keep it that way”, repeated Andy Rubin.

They also emphasized having many Android device vendor is key issue for the platform’s success to eliminate speculations Motorola would be favoured against other device vendors. That way Android can “spread as widely as possible”, Rubin argued.

There are a few good analyst comments on ReadWriteHack about the opennes. Even though many agree Android could become a bit more closed, it’s still a licenseable platform with room for differentiation.

Of course, even today the “opennes” of Android is controversial, as not nearly all the code is open source, and Google has been accused of violating the GPL license (see Google News for reports).

To close up, Google promises to keep Android open and treat all the Android vendors equally. Should we believe? I believe it’s the logical assumption, at the moment at least. It doesn’t seem possible for them to conquer the world alone with Motorola. They really need vendors of advanced Android smartphones like Samsung and HTC, and Chinese vendors Huawei and ZTE for the developing markets.