The Android mobile device operating system has been largely distinguished by its open-source nature – it can be used for free by anyone in possession of a license from its owner, Google. On November 8, Google confirmed that it would continue to offer the OS for free to its partners in the mobile device and smartphone accessories business.
According to the Wall Street Journal, concerns that the OS would no longer be free first arose when Google publicly announced plans to purchase Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion. Eric Schmidt, Google's executive chairman, stated at a press conference in Seoul, South Korea, that this acquisition would have no effect on the company's arrangements with other smartphone or tablet manufacturers using Android.
"We will run Motorola sufficiently independently so it will not violate the openness of Android," Schmidt said, according to the news source.
Other companies making mobile devices running on Android, such as Samsung, have made arrangements to diversify their OS affiliation as a possible response to Google's Motorola purchase. For example, Samsung will now offer more products running on Microsoft's Windows Phone platform.
According to Forbes, Schmidt's other notable comments at the press conference addressed subjects such as the future of Google Chrome and the possibility of Apple's voice recognition software Siri as a potential threat to the company's search business.