The debate touched off last week by a story in The Guardian (a GigaOM investor) about the apparently paltry earnings Google has reaped so far from the Android OS continues into week 2. GigaOM’s Tom Krazit makes the important point on Mobilize that Android is essentially a defensive play by Google, meant to keep the entire mobile world from being taken over by Apple, rather than core profit center, so direct earnings from the OS, whatever the real number, are not a useful measure of its success. Blogger Charlie Kindel, on the other hand, thinks that Android as a brand (as opposed to a technology platform) has become a liability for Google and will be cut loose from the mother ship. Instead, he argues, Google will adopt the Google Play brand for its own end-t0-end ecosystem, which will leverage the Android platform but will be more controlled and consistent than the current Android anarchy. That could increase tensions between Google and Android hardware makers and app developers, however, who, as my GigaOM Pro colleague David Card notes in his latest Weekly Update already chafe lack of support and propensity for competing with former partners. If nothing else, though, Google can take credit for spawning a cottage industry in speculating about the future of Android.
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