According to the lawsuit taking place between Google and Oracle, a win by Oracle could mean that anyone who activates an Android device, whether its sanctioned by Google or just a Chinese device maker going into business for itself with its own Android variant, Amazon and Barnes and Noble activating millions of Android based devices, or Baidu using it to create its own mobile ecosystem, Google may be on the hooks to pay Oracle a per device fee if Oracle wins.
The only option at that time is for Google to prevent Android form being used in the manners I described above. After all, why should Google pay for someone else's mobile success in which it doesn't make money from them.
This will radically change how mobile devices view Android, and, in turn, case us mobile warriors to change our buying habits. Google may be forced to charge its partners to pay Oracle. And while this is no different than if HTC, Samsung, or anyone else licensing Windows Phone from Microsoft, Microsoft did not just buy a mobile device maker but Google did.
Google will no doubt give Motorola preferential treatments. And what we may see is that Google will owning both the OS and hardware, not very different from the way Apple owns its OS and hardware.
But I assure you that when it happens, it would be entirely coincidental. This would not have been the route that Google anticipated.