Optical/IP Networks

Google's China Beef Spreads to Android

Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) isn't saying whether its dispute with the Chinese government could delay further phone launches using its Android mobile operating system in China, instead stressing that it is an open platform on which anyone can develop.

The search giant confirmed on Tuesday that it has delayed the launch of two Android phones -- made by Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT) and Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. (Korea: SEC) -- that were due to be introduced by China Unicom Ltd. (NYSE: CHU) Wednesday. This move came about because of Google's dispute with China over Web censorship, and a wide-scale Internet hacking operation that targeted the search giant and other companies and apparently originated in China.

"The launch we've been working on with China Unicom has been postponed," a spokeswoman tells Unstrung via email.

The delay may be little more than a token gesture, however, as Google itself says that there may be phones being developed in the country outside of China Unicom:

"I don't have a specific list of Android-powered phones [available in China] to share with you because there are many devices running Android that we are not even aware of since it's an open source operating system that is free for anyone to use," writes the spokeswoman.

Certainly, Android is already available in China: Samsung has the Android-based Galaxy on the market. Dell Technologies (Nasdaq: DELL), meanwhile, chose China as one of the initial markets for its first smartphone, the Mini 3, which uses a version of the Android OS developed by China Mobile Ltd. (NYSE: CHL). (See Dell Finally Enters Smartphone Market.) The Mini 3 is "shipping and available" now in China, a Dell spokesman confirms.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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