Android has a life of its own outside Google, whether Google wants it or not. Smartphone and tablet makers in China, India, and elsewhere are simply loading the supposed open source Android without paying a cent in licencing fees by by-passing Google registration (how Google tracks Android sales and grants access to its app store, and worse, any Google Play app revenue). To say that non-Google Android is endemic is an understatement.
Amazon proved that it could live without Google when it went its own way with Kindle and perhaps led the revolt, or at least acted as a role model.
The non-Google Android figures became evident at Google IO developers conference where, despite Samsung’s S4 garnering 20 million handset sales since its launch, Google Android figures were relatively static, reflecting the exodus from official Android, and consequently any hope of non-registered product owners ever getting an update. (See graph).
Do such owners care? The majority of Android devices are cheap and cheerful, low cost, semi-disposable, not sold on a plan, nor do they make any claims except that they will run the version of Android shipped at purchase. Fair enough.
The ability to counterfeit (copy) Windows (up to XP) made it the world’s most popular desktop OS. One has to ask if Google is happy with Android on every mobile device rather than them receiving revenue. Call it planned piracy if you will. It is a clever ploy to take over the mobile platform, or at least a very successful try before you buy strategy.
If Google do try to stop its unregistered use another free OS like Tizen or Ubuntu will rise from its ashes.
As Android users mature, they will want more and the only way to get that will be via purchasing a mainstream product and Google registration. Short term pain for a long term gain.