October 31, 2012

Matthew Panzarino on Google’s relationships with mobile phone networks and why that’s the reason the Nexus 4 doesn’t have LTE:

The real question is why Google is so beholden to the carriers. And the answer goes back to the very beginnings of Android, when Google gave up control in order to speed adoption of the platform. Apple took the world by surprise completely with the iPhone and Google had Android in their pocket already. So they pivoted it from a BlackBerry clone into a full touch-screen OS and shopped it out to the carriers and manufacturers as a way for them to get a smartphone on the market to compete with Apple that they could still shove their crapware and carrier billing systems into.

It was a deal with the devil, made in a moment of desperation, and it’s been haunting Google ever since.

Weiran Zhang

Written by Weiran Zhang who lives and works in Nottingham. You should follow him on Twitter.