back to article Naked Androids to rampage across Russia

Google has settled its Russian anti-trust case and will therefore open its Android OS to rivals in Vladimir Putin's demesne. Russian Google analog Yandex kicked off the case in 2015, when it alleged Google forces handset-makers to put its own search engine front and centre on all Android devices. Google lost that case and was …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Naked Androids"

    A "naked android". Should we call it a Skin Job?

    Dispatch Deckard to terminate the errant Nexus sixes asap.

    Do it before they have started monologuing about: I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser gate. All those moments will be lost in time... like tears in rain... Time to die...

  2. Andy Mac


    Why does reading this make me think of Darth. Vader saying "The circle is now complete."?

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Fixed it for him.

    "Yandex CEO Arkady Volozh has hailed the settlement as representing “... an important day for Yandex"

    Still nice try, pretending users want his search engine, and not Google. Anyone know what the Russian equivalent of Kool Aid is?

    1. ratfox

      Re: Fixed it for him.

      Yandex and Google have roughly comparable market share in Russia. He doesn't need to pretend anything.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Fixed it for him.

        "Yandex and Google have roughly comparable market share in Russia. He doesn't need to pretend anything"

        Pretty weird isn't it. Given that Google is way better and wins everywhere else. It's almost like Russia is run by some authoritarian regime and that Yandex is supported by the effective dictator because they will play ball will his data capturing efforts.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Fixed it for him.

      "Still nice try, pretending users want his search engine, and not Google."

      Well, at laest they have a choice, Dictator AC.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I hope for the same ruling in the EU

    I don't think it will change much, what with Google's 98% share in Europe; but Google has been getting too complacent.

    1. Trigonoceps occipitalis

      Re: I hope for the same ruling in the EU

      Google will be obliged not to restrict pre-installation of any competing search engines and applications (including on the default home screen)

      Oh good! Now I'll have 14 search engines, 30 media players, etc. on my handset that I can't uninstall. I suppose we can hope that Google will allow any app to be deleted, not just the non-Goggle apps.

      Pigs at the end of the runway as I type.

  5. BJC

    Potential Google response

    Rather than open Android devices for other search engines, might Google simply add terms and conditions to prevent distribution of Android in Russia? This way Google would be able to comply with the ruling while sticking with the mantra that all the apps are so closely tied into Android that removal is impossible. That might also help Google with the negotiations with other economic blocks, such as the EU. It might be worth sacraficing Russia for the sake of larger markets. Anyone know what the Russian marketplace looks like for these units? Would Google miss Russia?

    If Google effectively withdrew from Russia, a grey market would likely develop to import Android units for those that really want them. If demand continued then it might eventually become unsustainable to stop them.

    Note that it isn't important to determine whether Google _could_ separate the app integration from Android, just whether they are inclined to do so for this ruling.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Potential Google response

      How could Google force OEMs not to sell Android phones in Russia? AOSP is open source and every internationally recognised court which deals with trade disputes would find against Google.

      1. BJC

        Re: Potential Google response

        > How could Google force OEMs not to sell Android phones in Russia?

        I was suggesting that Google simply stop licensing Android to OEMs in Russia. I'm not sure whether ASOP is the same as the code Google licences to OEMs. I suspect it's quite different but I haven't looked and that may be confidential anyway. Russian OEMs would still be free to use any open source code but would it then be their responsibility to disentangle Google services?

      2. Gene Cash Silver badge

        Re: Potential Google response

        They can't make them stop selling phones based on Android, but w/o the Google-mandated Maps/Play/Search apps, they can't call it/brand it Android.

        Not that Samsung would care, because they're already sort-of their own separate brand.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Not really practical

      It isn't just Russian OEMs, but phones sold in Russia. Is Google going to tell Samsung and other multinational OEMs they aren't allowed to sell their phones in Russia? If the EU follows with a similar ruling, is Google going to tell them all they can't sell their phones in the EU either?

      Samsung already has replacements for most Google stuff except search and maps, and maps would be simple to replace. Yandex would be an obvious candidate for search in Russia, and I'm sure Microsoft would love to make a deal with Samsung to use Bing in the EU. Then Google will have lost a billion potential Android users, and Samsung might decide to offer those Google-free phones everyone else too and suddenly Google has lost a third of its worldwide share. They've already essentially lost China as most Android phones sold there are Google free.

      Nope, don't think Google is likely to follow that plan!

  6. Nattrash

    Floaty Bloaty

    So does this now mean you don't have to jail break anymore to remove all that Google bloat?

    1. Nolveys

      Re: Floaty Bloaty

      I was just thinking, buying an American product from Russia because the Russian version has fewer restrictions. Welcome to 2017.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Floaty Bloaty

      You can go grab Android now, open source, if you don't like the "bloat". I think Android is pretty lean.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    As Google completely monetizes Android via search, and a small bit of Play store, I don't see how forcing their search engine bar on their OS can be seen as anti competitive. That's what Android is... it is a full OS that Google has built so people will use their search bar, or are more likely to search with Google. Take that away and Google has no incentive to keep building Putin an OS... which is a costly undertaking.

    I guess Google could offer Russia an Android OS without any Google search on it... price is $10 per license.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Federal Antimonopoly Service of the Russian"

    Hilarious. Meaning messing with any foreign company that is not in Putin's pocket.

  9. mark l 2 Silver badge

    Yandex could just do what Amazon have done and fork Android and make their own flavour of Android but with their own search.

    But of course that would cost them money and time and they would need to encourage OEMs to offer this new OS on their phones. It would also mean that there would be no Google play store, Maps or other Google apps so they would then have to create their own app store and try to encourage app developers to upload their apps to this new store.

    So instead what they want to do is get Google to do all the hard work take on all the costs and then cut Google out of the equation.

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