Google Mandates ‘Powered by Android’ Branding on New Devices

Russell Holly, writing for

HTC and Samsung have something new popping up on their smartphones every time you boot them up, and apparently the feature was mandated by Google.

Android is not a household brand. Google is but, despite having a significant portion of the global marketshare, their smartphone OS is not. And as long as hardware manufacturers are allowed to design their own user interfaces for Android, it’s going to be very difficult for the average consumer to look at a Nexus 5, an HTC One M8, and a Samsung Galaxy S5 and know that they are all running the exact same operating system. Google is hoping to change that, and one method the company has started to use is mandating that the phrase “Powered by Android” be present during the boot animation on new phones.

Yet another sign that Google’s relationship with Android OEMs is growing ever more adversarial. The handset makers do not want this — or at least the major ones like Samsung and HTC do not. Samsung and HTC want to promote their own brands, not “Android”. (If they wanted to promote Android, they’d have done so before Google mandated it.)

And this is quite different from the Windows and “Intel Inside” stickers that most PCs have shipped with for years — PC OEMs get paid for those promotions.

Saturday, 29 March 2014