Alphabet: Stemming the Android Rebellion
Google sells services on Android devices
Alphabet’s (GOOGL) Google owns Android and gives it out free of charge to device manufacturers with the hope of boosting Android device sales. Samsung (SSNLF), Huawei, Xiaomi, and Sony (SNE) are notable manufacturers of Android devices. However, grounds seem to have shifted in the Android world recently, creating a situation that we could describe as an Android rebellion.
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Huawei partners with Google rival
A number of Android manufacturers have been reported to be developing their own mobile operating systems to rival Android. In other cases, Android manufacturers are incorporating services to rival Google in their devices. Huawei, for instance, designed its Mate 9 smartphone to work with Amazon’s (AMZN) Alexa digital assistant.
Alexa is a fierce rival to Google Assistant. However, independent tests have shown Google Assistant to be a superior digital assistant to its rivals, including Cortana from Microsoft (MSFT) and Siri from Apple (AAPL). However, as Alexa is also a formidable challenger, having Alexa in Huawei’s Mate 9 somehow raises stakes for Google in the digital assistant space.
Mitigating the Android rebellion
Since Google also competes with Amazon in the smart speaker market, where they sell devices powered by their respective digital assistants, a growing Alexa influence could impact Google’s smart speaker competition.
Gaining a tight grip of Android could not only allow Google to steer mobile software in the direction it prefers, but also mitigate the potential impact of the Android rebellion. The acquisition of HTC’s hardware design team could help Google stem this rebellion.