Google announces that it will begin charging Android manufacturers for its apps

Google announces that it will begin charging Android manufacturers for its apps
Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL

Back in July, the European Commission ordered Google to stop illegally tying the Play Store, Chrome, and other apps to the Android operating system. In addition, Google was fined a huge $5 billion for antitrust violations. In light of this, the search giant has today announced a series of changes.

For the first time in its history, Google will no longer force manufacturers to sign agreements related to pre-installing almost all Google apps. However, it will begin charging a license fee to those manufacturers within the European Economic Area that wish to do so. Fortunately, these companies won’t need to license all of them. Instead, they can license the Play Store, Chrome and search, and other mobile apps separately.

When it comes to the Android operating system itself, Google has confirmed that it will remain open and free to everyone. This means that companies will still be able to create their own versions. In fact, these companies will now also be allowed to license Google’s apps too, something that was previously not possible.

Presently, it’s unclear if every Android smartphone sold within Europe will require a license fee, or if the move will only apply to European companies. Regardless, the extra cost involved in creating these devices could ultimately push prices up slightly although, at this point in time, the new fee being charge remains unclear. In any case, Google is appealing the verdict of July’s hearing, so this move could simply be temporary. But for now, these new rules will go into effect on Monday, October 29.

source: Google

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24 Comments

1. andrewc31394

Posts: 298; Member since: Jun 23, 2012

can someone inform me why Google is being penalized for this when Apple has their own apps doing the same thing? genuinely curious

2. maherk

Posts: 6966; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

I believe it's because Android is an open OS. I might be wrong, but I remember that this was the reason the last time I read about it. And going back to the main subject, shouldn't this mean that Google shouldn't force OEMs to install their apps since they want to charge them now for using them?

7. lyndon420

Posts: 6837; Member since: Jul 11, 2012

Licence out the Google Play Store, and let consumers install the apps they want. Problem solved??

14. NarutoKage14

Posts: 1327; Member since: Aug 31, 2016

That's exactly what they're doing now.

16. Atechguy0

Posts: 918; Member since: Aug 03, 2018

The problem with Android is there is open source and non open source mixed together. Companies like Microsoft and others get a cut of each Android device that is manufactured. Think about all the security and encryption stuff has to be licensed, as well as some of the networking protocols, and encryption. Filesystems. LTE is definitely not free. Plus the GPU and matching drivers are not free. It's been said that Microsoft has made over 20 billion from Android alone. Don't get me wrong, Android is very flexible, and versatile, but since everyone wants their pound of flesh from it. Then it definitely has its problems.

3. Fred3

Posts: 564; Member since: Jan 16, 2018

https://www.theverge.com/2018/7/18/17580694/google-android-eu-fine-antitrust this should help explain it to you which i think is the reason why Google is creating Fuchsia

4. Crispin_Gatieza

Posts: 3157; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

Apple has the right to do as it pleases considering it's their hardware running their OS with their apps. It's called proprietary. Don't want a Chevy engine? Buy a Ford.

5. Panzer

Posts: 282; Member since: May 13, 2016

It is supposed to be open source software. They are running a Linux kernel which also is open source. Plus not all the code in AOSP was written by Google. I am guessing Android's days are numbered and Google will push Fuchsia like Fred3 posted as earlier. I believe they built everything. But if you see below lots of no no's were done by Google. 1. has required manufacturers to pre-install the Google Search app and browser app (Chrome), as a condition for licensing Google's app store (the Play Store); 2. made payments to certain large manufacturers and mobile network operators on condition that they exclusively pre-installed the Google Search app on their devices; and 3. has prevented manufacturers wishing to pre-install Google apps from selling even a single smart mobile device running on alternative versions of Android that were not approved by Google (so-called "Android forks").

26. uberzero

Posts: 53; Member since: Jul 07, 2018

It will be difficult for Google to switch to Fuchsia from Android considering the alternative like Sailfish and Tizen waiting for that very moment.

9. Awalker

Posts: 1986; Member since: Aug 15, 2013

I don't get it either. The only thing Google offers for free is Android and anyone can use it. Google also has a suite of apps that they essentially sell to manufacturers and the manufacturers are choosing to buy it. I don't see what the problem is.

15. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

It's mostly because Google has the dominant market share and Apple does not. Of course certain things they did, like forcing OEMs to install Google chrome and search, are something Apple doesn't do since it's their own hardware as well. But it's mostly market share, when it's too big, they make sure it's abused in an anti-competitive and consumer unfriendly way

17. Subie

Posts: 2395; Member since: Aug 01, 2015

You took the words right out of my mouth.

22. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

*it's not abused* Forgot the word not in there ;)

6. KingSam

Posts: 1481; Member since: Mar 13, 2016

So now first party apps for Samsung and Huawei etc are justified. Just Download Google apps if you want. I don't use most of them anyways. Just the essentials.

8. cmdacos

Posts: 4270; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

Good news in my opinion. Looking for Samsung to leave Gmail chrome and Hangouts off my phone.

10. Awalker

Posts: 1986; Member since: Aug 15, 2013

You can uninstall Hangouts and Chrome and Gmail can be disabled.

12. cmdacos

Posts: 4270; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

Hangouts can. Chrome and Gmail cannot for me.

13. Awalker

Posts: 1986; Member since: Aug 15, 2013

They can be disabled which means the only place you'll see them is when you go into the Apps submenu in the Settings menu.

18. cmdacos

Posts: 4270; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

Thanks. I know what disabled means. I don't want them at all.

11. Venom

Posts: 3733; Member since: Dec 14, 2017

I'll take Gmail and Chrome any day. Just because of the synchronization and the seamless transition from one device to another.

19. yeminswe

Posts: 8; Member since: Dec 10, 2012

I think Google should charge All Android phone .. I often feel like I've using many Google stuff for free .. I use Google maps a lot .. can't research my work without Google , I tried Bing but have to go back to Google because of inadequate quality .. and YouTube .. and translate .. Many Many ... We pay nothing to Google .. just charge 30$ for each phone and make licencing like Apple , Microsoft .. Google can't charge for Android but they can charge for apps .. just 30$ and I'm happy to pay for it because I have to use them every day and make your apps better

20. yeminswe

Posts: 8; Member since: Dec 10, 2012

I'm forgetting Gmail lol ... although i don't use Gmail every day , most important personal and work related mails rely on Gmail

21. Mrmark

Posts: 401; Member since: Jan 26, 2013

Facebook lives !!!!

34. AfterShock

Posts: 4147; Member since: Nov 02, 2012

I said it when EU fined Google, it'll cost your end users in the long run. Look forward to higher costs for basics others enjoy for free. That Cash grab is going to cost EU consumers more per phone going forward, lol. Once Google closes off Android and goes closed, all them free os cheap phones will be worth what you want to pay, just won't be doing much. Wtg watchdog!

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