The amount of complete gibberish I am reading about the HTC-Google deal is phenomenal. You don’t need particular insight to see what is happening. Nor do conspiracy theories help or those “grand scheme” type wackos that explain how it is “just the first step” of something enormous we all don’t understand.
Google is keeping the Android ecosystem healthy. Google is doing what no government is fast enough or decisive enough to do. Bailing out a company with something good to offer the world. Much like Motorola before that. No, the plan is not to “kill Apple” with some super phone. Quite the opposite. Pixel phones will continue to be in short supply. They are not meant to be iPhone killers. They are simply tools to show the way ahead. Not light years ahead, just the next year.
Being a monopoly, much like being a dictator, is not an easy job. You have to make everyone look good and take a back seat even when minor things don’t go your way. Wait for everyone to get onboard instead of issuing marching orders and killing them off. AndroidOne is an excellent example of the “try, try again” approach. Sure, they could force everyone in a number of ways. When you own most of the searches on the planet, YouTube, Google Maps and other prime everyday tools, it would be easy to force people. But Google isn’t Facebook and it isn’t Apple. “Do no evil” means “wait until they all think they want what you want them to do.”
Google isn’t “challenging its partners” as some ignoramous wrote in the Verge. Selling off Motorola wasn’t an admission of failure. The Android ecosystem looks much healthier with Lenovo and Motorola and Nokia in it. In essence they are all Google, all marketing and selling machines that make money for Google. Google learnt from Microsoft’s mistakes: Never make it too obvious that you control the whole technology platform. Microsoft and Apple are welcome diversions in this respect, making Google look like less of a monopoly than it really is. They kick up a big fuss about whatever silly little project they are launching all the time, keep press and people busy thinking about something else.
Google is an awe inspiring monopoly. It controls most of the answers to the planet’s questions. Never in history has one institution had such power. I ask it if it will rain tomorrow, how to get to my next appointment and why Hitler didn’t attack in Dunkirk. Google knows how many iPhone Apple will sell in Indonesia better than Apple does. They have probably correlated it to search queries on peanut butter or something.
So if some idiot journalist wants to wax lyrical about it’s “failure to make a feature phone and grab market share” just do what Google does: smile and ignore.