Charlie Kindel thinks Google will abandon the Android brand for “Play”:
I predict Google will go so far as to push the Play brand over Android even with developers. They’ve already started this with marketplace submission and you can bet there will be a new, more stringent, app certification program under the Google Play moniker in an attempt to raise the quality of apps for the new Google Play tablet. Watch for Google Play specific APIs and services as well.
Kindel believes that rather than try to combat Android’s fragmentation, Google should abandon it and build their own cohesive, end-to-end platform based on Android. Doing so would make a lot of sense, because there’s no way they’ll be able to rein in device makers and make Android a cohesive platform.
Of course, it would also dampen device manufacture and carrier interest in Android. If “Android,” the open source operating system that anyone can use, (1) doesn’t include important APIs that Google’s Play version does, and (2) Google is directly competing with their devices by selling and heavily pushing their own devices, I would expect less devices to use Android as we know it, and more use of Android as a base to build your own platform on, like Barnes and Noble and Amazon have done. Effectively, I think a move like this would kill Android as the relatively open platform that we have today.
Which, of course, may be better for Google.
(Via John Gruber.)