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Major non-Google Android device coming this year, says Skyhook CEO

Updated Dec 19th, 2018 8:22PM EST

Skyhook Wireless CEO Ted Morgan claims that a “major” non-Google Android smartphone will be released at the end of this year. The handset will reportedly be based on the Android operating system, however it will not be controlled by Google — similar to Amazon’s Kindle Fire. “I’m spending a lot of time with companies forking Android,” Morgan said to Technology Review. “Nobody wants to just be a manufacturer for Google. You see that with what Amazon has done, where they made it their own, and you also see a whole host of manufacturers taking Android down their own path.” Read on for more.

Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablet runs a highly modified version of Android 2.3 Gingerbread. Because Android is open source, companies can take the Android code and use it however they please. Non-Google Android devices do not have access to the Mountain View-based company’s closed-source apps and Google Play marketplace, however, but thanks to Amazon’s Appstore for Android, non-Google devices finally have a decent alternative.

“[Google] really [does] restrict anything a device maker can do to stand out, for their own purposes,” Morgan argued. “It’s very unappealing to a device maker. They don’t want to be just a commodity hardware maker because they’ll all lose out to cheaper players in China. Everyone’s emboldened by the success of Amazon. Everyone’s saying ‘we need to go our own way.'”

While Morgan may have a personal vendetta against Google, reports have surfaced time after time claiming both Facebook and Amazon are looking to release their own smartphones.


Dan joins the BGR team as the Android Editor, covering all things relating to Google’s premiere operating system. His work has appeared on Fox News, Fox Business and Yahoo News, among other publications. When he isn’t testing the latest devices or apps, he can be found enjoying the sights and sounds of New York City.