Android device manufacturers could pay Google up to $40 for each phone in EU to license certain apps

Android device manufacturers could pay Google up to $40 for each phone in EU to license certain apps
The other day, we told you that Google was going to stop having manufacturers sign agreements requiring them to pre-install certain Google apps on their Android phones, such as Chrome and Google Search, in order to include the Google Play Store with their devices. This was the result of a $5 billion fine that the EU imposed on Google during the summer after it found that the company had violated certain antitrust regulations in the common market.

Google will now allow manufacturers to use alternative third party apps instead of Chrome and Google Search. But since Google will lose the ad revenue it collected from those apps, it will start charging a licensing fee for those who skip out on Chrome and Search but still want the Google Play Store on their devices. A confidential document examined by The Verge reveals that Google will charge these manufacturers up to $40 a phone for the use of "Google Mobile Services." This is a suite of apps that includes the Google Play Store. The agreement starts with Android devices that are activated on or after February 1st, 2019. Manufacturers who don't install Chrome on their phones will no longer receive a share of ad revenue generated by that app.

The actual licensing fees that Google is asking for depends on the country where the device is being sold, and the pixel density of the phone. The EU is separated into three tiers by Google with the top tier consisting of the U.K., Sweden, Germany, Norway, and the Netherlands. Devices in those countries with a pixel density above 500 would cost the manufacturer $40 for each unit to license Google Mobile Services. The sliding scale drops to a $20 fee for devices in that tier carrying a pixel density between 400 and 500, and $10 for models with a ppi under 400. In some markets, the fee on low-end units could be only $2.50 for each device.

However, some manufacturers might not have to pay the aforementioned amounts. Google will apparently offer to cover part or even all of the licensing cost if a manufacturer agrees to install Chrome and Google Search on its devices. This would be covered under a separate agreement between Google and the company producing the phone.

source: TheVerge

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34 Comments

1. pnevma

Posts: 3; Member since: Aug 10, 2018

"In this case, the EU regulations are going to result in higher smartphone prices in that market, hurting the very consumers that they are supposed to help." Not really. The smartphones currently available, which have all Google apps, will probably not incur the extra fee. There may be a new class of products, without some Google apps, which might cost more, but that's irrelevant. because today we cannot buy them at all, so consumers will be better off with more choices.

21. Atechguy0

Posts: 918; Member since: Aug 03, 2018

No I don't think that is a good choice at all. Remember what happened to Nokia when they made their own Android smartphones without any Google software what so ever. They failed miserably. Where is an Amazon smartphone? Oh, yeah, that failed as well. People buy Android because of all the Google apps, and access to the millions of play store apps. Only an iDiot will buy an Android smartphone without any Google software what so ever.

27. Leo_MC

Posts: 6092; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

Well, you know that there are some people that only use some Google apps (apps one can also find in App Store or in Windows). I - for instance - don't use Gmail (don't want it in my phone), Allo/Duo/Hangouts (they are bulls**t, compared to FaceTime/iMessage or WhatsApp), Chrome (what a horrible browser...!), Gboard (I'm not a native English speaker so I don't know how it performs for one, but in my language is miles behind SwiftKey; in typing is behind Apple's too, but I find Gboard to be better, because it has flow), Maps (this is personal preference: I use Waze) and search (as a standalone app; I use Google in Safari). So I would like to have a Google free Android device (with the exception of the App Store).

31. Atechguy0

Posts: 918; Member since: Aug 03, 2018

Well that is a device that the vast majority will not purchase. I guarantee that one. An Android smartphone that only has Google's play store. Also what's to stop someone from installing some fake version of Google's apps, and then claim that it's a legitimate version of Android with Google's apps? Nothing. Like I said before companies can already make their own Android smartphones without anything from Google at all. And from the sounds of it you want nothing to do with Google at all. But then again you are an iPhone guy. Trolling here, pretending to be interested in Android.

2. ahmadkun

Posts: 502; Member since: May 02, 2016

Okay ..i understand now why samsung are makeing its own copy of each google app. . they predicted this, man $40 will be too much it could cause more increasing in the price for some Android phones in Europe, can you imagine lile if you sold 1M phone with G apps $40M will go to Google !

18. vincelongman

Posts: 5579; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

"But phone manufacturers may not actually have to shoulder that cost: Google is also offering separate agreements to cover some or all of the licensing costs for companies that choose to install Chrome and Google search on their devices as well, according to a person familiar with the terms. Google declined to comment." Doubt even Samsung is gonna bother excluding paying to not install Chrome and Google search

3. FluffyBled unregistered

I think it's 40€. They wouldn't have to pay in $ in the EU now would they?

4. NarutoKage14

Posts: 1266; Member since: Aug 31, 2016

They could pay the euro equivalent of $40 US dollars.

15. RebelwithoutaClue

Posts: 5473; Member since: Apr 05, 2013

It's 35 euro... but 40 in dollars

5. CandyBar

Posts: 41; Member since: Dec 08, 2017

In the last two years, the EU has fined Google over 7.7 billion dollars - fines have consequences - someone has to pay and that will be the European consumer. Bet you're not so glad your governments make their money by fining US companies now are you?

9. dimas

Posts: 3235; Member since: Jul 22, 2014

" - fines have consequences - someone has to pay and that will be the European consumer. " No, google is just being too smart-ass. Don't make it sound like giving companies fine is bad for the people. Govt. saw their anti-trust, monopolizing tactics so it's natural that they'll be penalized. They saw cash with google play and they're abusing it.

14. Awalker

Posts: 1957; Member since: Aug 15, 2013

That sounds nice but ultimately it's consumers who pay those fines.

24. mootu

Posts: 1326; Member since: Mar 16, 2017

Bollox! It's just the usual cash grab by the EU and it's consumers will now pay the cost. The EU doesn't care as long as the coffers are swelled and thier thieving pockets are filled. Most corrupt "club" in the world.

28. Leo_MC

Posts: 6092; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

No we won't, because Google is going to have the same practice no matter where the product is being sold.

6. collin3000

Posts: 70; Member since: Apr 28, 2015

The thing I fear is this causing greater Android fragmentation just when thing we're finally starting to get cohesive. If manufacturers *cough* Samsung *cough* decide they don't want to pay licensing and push their own store/service instead. Lots of apps that require Play Services might not have the budget to be modified for multiple platforms or may have to have staggered releases. Android will become "too complicated" and Apple will once again "just be easier"

7. cmdacos

Posts: 3743; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

Please bring this to Canada as well. I will gladly pay $40 more to not have duplicate Google apps on the phone yet still have play services.

8. monkeyb

Posts: 358; Member since: Jan 17, 2018

What if manufacturers won't pay this amount? What will they lose? At the end of the day, apps in the play store are designed to run on Android. Cant someone (Obv a big company) simply create a new store and all developers will just upload them in the new store as well? I know this is not easy but is it not a possibility?

10. dimas

Posts: 3235; Member since: Jul 22, 2014

It's possible but first, you have to make people go away from using google services. Demand will create popularity, popularity will create revenue. Anybody can create another OS like android but if people will not use it, it will just die of financial starvation.

19. vincelongman

Posts: 5579; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

The OEMs will simply continue including Google Chrome, Google Search, etc... and thus not have to pay for Google Mobile Services

29. Leo_MC

Posts: 6092; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

I don't think Google is going to be OK when (or if) billions of Samsung phones suddenly decide to go with Bing. Google has payd 7 (or was it 9) billion$ to Apple just to be the standard search service in Safari, I don't think it will have the audacity to charge Samsung a penny for the Play Store.

33. SpencerO

Posts: 29; Member since: Nov 29, 2017

Samsung makes garbage Android phones anyways... Switch to Bing search and then they really are worthless.

30. L0n3n1nja

Posts: 1503; Member since: Jul 12, 2016

Many people won't want to repurchase all of their apps, movies, music, books, etc.

11. monkeyb

Posts: 358; Member since: Jan 17, 2018

"Anybody can create another OS like android" : No, I am not talking about a new OS. Just a new play store. Android is anyways open source so I see no reason why a new play store cannot be developed and pre-installed into devices with the help of manufacturers.

16. RebelwithoutaClue

Posts: 5473; Member since: Apr 05, 2013

A lot of apps are depending on the Google play services, like location APIs, Google cast APIs, Google Play Game APIs and of course Google Mobile Ads. Without those APIs, developers have to create their own code for location, saving game data, showing ads and lots more.

23. monkeyb

Posts: 358; Member since: Jan 17, 2018

I did not know there was so much going on. Thanks for the explanation.

12. BGChicago

Posts: 216; Member since: Nov 16, 2014

I would gladly pay Google $100 if it is to stop tracking me (and wasting my phone's battery). Of course they know $100 nothing g comparing to the potential they can make from me

13. cmdacos

Posts: 3743; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

You can adjust this your self for free in settings. If you're that passionate about this even though you don't have a clear understanding of what's being tracked nor do you have an understanding of how your network provider is tracking you then by all means. Just turn it all off.

17. RebelwithoutaClue

Posts: 5473; Member since: Apr 05, 2013

I use a Google for business account and while tracking/mining is still partly on, it will be used for my own personal need and not ads.

20. Cat97

Posts: 1675; Member since: Mar 02, 2017

It's easy: privacy is not free anymore. For Google and Facebook (and others), the user is the product, not the Google Apps. The "product" (so...you !) is sold to all the advertisers, and that's where Google makes its money from. If you don't want to sell your privacy, you have to pay in exchange. The problem is that the EU does not want is citizens to become Google's merchandise. I for one, am willing to pay for less or no ads and less spying on me. Others may not. But the EU has made their decision, and now all its citizens will be forced to follow this decision. Which, to be honest, may be a good thing. A brain less bombared with ads will be more efficient and will be able to better concentrate on meaninful things.

25. aksa123

Posts: 363; Member since: Jan 30, 2014

Let's get real guys: what's Android without Google anyway?

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