Google is behaving more and more like Microsoft and Apple, more and more like a monopoly giant. For example, they discourage phone makers from having an SD card slot, and failing that, imposes rules like "only one directory in the root of the SD card" and "only read your own dir on the SD card", which makes the cards almost useless on a non-rooted device. Speculations is that this is due to their upcoming cloud service. Likewise, lots of development is unlikely to happen, simply because it does not benefit Google (for example, mounting of SMB shares). They also have very limiting rules on Google Play (nothing adult, no alternative markets, nothing that may be illegal in the US (but is legal elsewhere) and so on). But, Android is based on Linux and is under GPL. A group of developers, possibly founded by one or more phone makers, could simply fork it, starting their own variant. It would free the phone makers from pressures from Google, and would allow Android to be developed based on user needs rather than Google business needs. Of course, as GPL works both ways, Google could benefit as well. What they lose in control, they gain by getting improvements from the forked code base. The downside would be the risk of variants causing problems. However, I see this as a minor problem, as variants already exist. If anything, such issues would weed out badly written apps, without affecting good apps. Look at Linux, where compatibility between variants is a total non-issue (I think most of the fear of incompatibility between versions comes from the Windows world, where this is an issue). So, opinions. Do you think a fork would benefit Android? Note: I know about Cyanogenmod and the others, but that's not what I'm talking about. They are mostly tweaks on the Google base, I'm talking about a full fork.