Google building ‘firewall’ between Android and Motorola teams

28 Feb 2012

Google’s senior vice-president of Mobile and Digital Content Andy Rubin said the company has built a “firewall” between its Android team and the recently acquired Motorola Mobility, suggesting that Google won’t give the manufacturer favouritism with its mobile OS once the acquisition closes.

Rubin told The Verge at this year’s Mobile World Congress that while he was aware of concerns from others that Motorola may have an advantage when building Android smartphones, he said this wasn’t the case as Google has built a solid divide between the Android team and Motorola.

Rubin said he didn’t know anything about the products Motorola was building and that the open source nature of Android made it “physically difficult” to give someone an advantage.

He also said that, considering the huge field of Android vendors and Motorola’s single-digit marketshare, he was doubtful Google could get Motorola to reach a “90-plus per cent marketshare” even if it wanted too, which also kept Google from interfering.

Google agreed to acquire Motorola in August 2011 in a US$12.5bn deal to allow Google to boost the Android ecosystem and to enhance competition in the mobile market. The EU and the US both approved the deal, meaning it is expected to go through soon.

There were fears the deal could affect other Android OEMs, however, Google emphasised that Android would remain an open platform.