Acer (News - Alert), the Taiwanese hardware and electronics corporation, had been working with Alibaba Cloud Computing to release the Cloud Mobile A800 mobile phone, running Alibaba's mobile operating system, Aliyun. However, the scheduled launch date came and went with no product release.
The Cloud Mobile A800 was slated to be unveiled in Shanghai on Thursday afternoon, but when journalists arrived at the launch event, they weren't allowed to enter the venue. An Alibaba Cloud Computing eventually came out and said the launch had been cancelled due to "internal reasons."
However, it was later revealed in an official statement from Alibaba that the real reason for the launch cancellation was pressure from Google (News - Alert). Specifically, Google had told Acer that if it released a phone running Aliyun, it would no longer be allowed to release Android devices.
Image via www.acer.com
"Our partner received notification from Google that if the new product launch with Aliyun went ahead, Google would terminate Android (News - Alert) product cooperation and related technical authorization with Acer," said Alibaba's statement.
So far, both Google and Acer have yet to comment on the incident, so further details may surface as the situation develops.
China is currently one of the most, if not the most, important markets for mobile currently and as such, Google's motivations here are pretty clear, if indeed the situation played out as Alibaba claims. It is, however, a disappointing move from a company whose unofficial motto has long been "don't be evil."
Acer recently released two new smartphones featuring version 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich, of the Android mobile OS. Both handsets — the Liquid Gallant and its dual-SIM capable sibling, the Liquid Gallant Duo — feature 4.3-inch displays with a qHD resolution. This family of Android devices offers one unique feature, a power button on the back of device, which Acer claims makes it easier to wake up the phone when taking it out of the pocket.
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Edited by Brooke Neuman