Google threat blamed as Acer cancels China smartphone launch

Alibaba Group claims Google threatened to take away Acer's Android license if it went ahead with the launch

PC maker Acer has allegedly canceled the launch of a new smartphone using a Chinese-developed mobile operating system because Google threatened to cancel the company's license to use the Android OS.

Acer was originally scheduled to hold a news conference on Thursday to launch its Acer A800 smartphone for China. Making the handset different from other rival smartphones is that the device uses the Aliyun OS, which was developed by a subsidiary of e-commerce giant Alibaba Group.

Acer, however, abruptly canceled its Thursday event, with a company marketing director declining to elaborate on why. But soon after, Alibaba addressed the cancellation, stating it was because Google threatened to cancel Acer's license to use Android on its other handsets if the company went ahead with A800 smartphone launch, according to a company Internet posting.

In the posting, an Alibaba spokesman states that Google's action is "clearly unfair to consumers and we are concerned about the impact on customer access to competitive products."

Google declined to comment on the "accusations" brought by Alibaba, a company spokesman said in an email.

An Alibaba spokeswoman also declined to offer further comment.

Acer marketing director Muriel Kuan said staff is communicating with company headquarters on the matter, but Acer had no comment. Kuan would only say the event was cancelled for a "special reason," without elaborating.

Acer's A800 smartphone is to be sold through a retail shopping site under Alibaba Group. But sales for the handset have yet to start, according to the phone's product page.

Acer's use of the Aliyun OS would have given Alibaba a better-known vendor to back its mobile operating system. Previously, the Aliyun OS was only installed on phones from Chinese local handset vendors Tianyu and Haier.

The Aliyun OS can run both Android apps, and so-called "cloud apps", which are Web-based and stored on remote company servers that can also leverage services from Alibaba's own e-commerce business.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Michael Kan

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?