updated 05:10 pm EDT, Wed September 7, 2011
Lawsuit shows Google gives early edge to some
More documents just publicized in the Oracle lawsuit against Google could have far-reaching implications for Google's buyout of Motorola. Although largely confirming existing beliefs, it shows that Google's official strategy is to "give early access" to Android code to those who use the stock OS. Motorola's original Droid and Verizon were singled out by name.
Also confirmed was Google's self-contradiction on its insistence that it's open. The company's policies are to "not develop in the open" and only give out source code "after innovation is complete," by which point Google has the edge on any features. Google has said it withheld Android 3.0 source over concerns about how well-designed its code was for developers, although many have noted that this conveniently prevented the new OS from reaching the glut of low-end tablets arriving at the time.
Oracle also stated the commonly recognized view that Google has a hand in the hardware design of certain phones that weren't necessarily branded as its official Nexus models. The T-Mobile G1 and G2 are often cited as key examples along with the Droid.
The search firm's chairman, Eric Schmidt, has already gone on record as saying that Motorola's hardware played a factor in the $12.5 billion acquisition. Just how much control Google might want to exert hasn't always been clear, however, and seeing a formally codified policy of giving OEMs like Motorola privileged access could raise alarms for the ongoing FTC investigation. Leaks have suggested Google fully intends to pursue an iPhone-like model of direct integration and could see Google compete against many of its own partners.