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Google: Augen's $150 iPad rival using pirated Android

updated 06:05 pm EDT, Fri August 6, 2010

Kmart caught stocking tablet with pirated Android

The mystery $150 Augen Android tablet at Kmart is using a bootleg copy of Android, Google said in a response this afternoon. The GenTouch78 is using software it shouldn't have from an "unauthorized vendor" and has bypassed the usual legal channels. Only members of the Open Handset Alliance or official partners can use the software legally, the search firm told Laptop in a statement.

Augen hasn't answered the accusations, but it's possible the company obtained the apps separately from the publicly available Android builds. Despite the mostly open source nature of Android, Google only offers a basic subset of Android apps for those who don't go through a formal licensing program, even when it charges no royalties.

The observations leave Kmart stocking what amounts to illegal devices on its shelves and suggests Augen will be making a quick exit from the tablet market in the US. Very cheap tablets hoping to compete with the iPad are common and in southeast Asia are often deliberate clones of Apple's work, but few of these or from any other country reach the US as they often fear legal action banning them from stores.

By Electronista Staff
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  1. martinX

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2008


    Confusion reigns

    While I love the concept of Open Source (as exemplified by the GPL, LGPL, MIT licence and others) I think stories like this demonstrate the confusion that surrounds Open Source projects as they get larger and attempt to become commercial.

  1. Bearcat

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2009



    Is this the height of dumb or what? Android is FREE!!!!! And these people are using a bootlegged copy? Idiots!

  1. macnixer

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2006


    ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch...

    I thought Android was free and you did not have to license it to use it. Thank you Google for telling me that I was wrong all this time. Not that I care. I do not have anything that runs Android. My toaster is still mechanical. I opened it to fix the heat sensor and my iPhone runs the original iOS not any bootlegged copy of Android looking like iOS.

  1. TRRosen

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: May 2002


    the Truth

    Android open source? Not so much!

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001


    Re: the Truth

    Android open source? Not so much!

    Android is open source. Anyone can use it. What Augen did was that they also installed Google's own applications, which are licensed code, closed, and must be licensed.

    If they didn't include those, all would be good.

  1. Peter Bonte

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2001


    Re: the Truth

    Android without the Google apps is basically unsellable, its just another tactic to lock down a otherwise free OS and marketplace.

  1. Raman

    Mac Elite

    Joined: Mar 2001


    comment title

    I think their policy encourages companies to join the Alliance (hmmm... these are not the Androids you are looking for).

    I wonder what is involved to be a member of the Alliance? Can a kid in a garage with a good idea for a product do it?

  1. lewserkim

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2010


    Is it true?

    Well if this true then that will really ruin the reputation of Augen Gentouch. If thats the case I think this is worth asking on this link.

    I really want to know whats his feedback.. hahah

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