I have been trying to make sense of the Google Motorola Lenovo deal what with Google receiving much less than it paid for Motorola. There are obviously patents to be retained but it turns out it’s way more complex. However, when you read arstechnia’s take on this and the Samsung patents deal it all starts to make more sense.
If true, what does this mean for developers? Samsung is now much less likely to fork Android which would have seriously complicated life for developers. Duplicate APIs would have evolved. All the things that currently hang off Google Services such as notifications and maps would have no longer been able to be used. In fact, this makes me think back to Symbian and Nokia S60 where there was a tug of war going on between who should own the higher level APIs. The latest agreements have probably avoided this.
It’s unfortunate that the Nexus line might have become a casualty of the negotiations given that these devices, having the latest updates, provide for early testing before the masses get hold of the latest OS. As an end user, I also like the Nexus line because again, as it has the latest updates, it is the most secure.
However, don’t forget Lenovo is part of this equation. They are a low cost Chinese manufacturer and the latest events play into my comments from 2 days ago where I said Samsung need to keep an eye on the low end. Samsung might end up regretting that they were party to something that gave a competitor an advantage. This is especially so because that competitor is well placed to compete in the low cost end of the market that is expected to grow most.