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How Open Is Too Open?

9:00 AM -- SAN DIEGO -- "Open access" is once again the buzz phrase at CTIA. You have to wonder, however, whether "open" will really go for carriers, vendors, or even advocates like Google (Nasdaq: GOOG).

For instance, I was at the Mobile Focus event last night, and it occurred to me that it might be really good for me -- as a user -- if I could take the Android operating system from Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT)'s Cliq, including the Blur software "skin," and load it onto the Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. (Korea: SEC) Moment hardware.

I very much doubt either Motorola or Samsung would allow that, however, even for a fee, as the features built on top of Android are each phone's selling points. And I suspect Google would worry about possible fragmentation of the Android code-base, which is definitely a potential issue in the future. (See Sprint's Android Moment.)

So, once the "open" excitement has died down some, the industry is going to have to explain the limits of the concept to the buying public. It is possible that one day you'll be able to choose the build of your phone's operating system, as you can on a PC, but -- hackers and über-geeks aside -- I'm not sure that will be an option for the public anytime soon.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

blephen 12/5/2012 | 3:53:48 PM
re: How Open Is Too Open?

As usual, Jones is on target, although i'm not sure that this isn't something of a red herring as the Googlezon continues its methodical march toward world domination...and that's not necessarily a bad thing. Goog has the potential to dissagregate the carrier hegemony, but not all at once. Like a trojan horse, introduced at the pace of a tortoise, Android will eventually produce its intended result.

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