New Google policy could raise the price of Android phones

Google will charge phone makers to use Android apps in Europe

The downside for device manufacturers is that Google will now charge for many of its most popular apps according to its new "paid licensing agreement" for smartphones and tablets.

The most important change Google announced today will be new fees OEMs will have to pay to pre-install Google services on Android devices. But Google explained that its mobile application suite (Play Store, Gmail, YouTube, Maps etc) will require a licence fee if pre-installed on devices shipping to the EEA and a separate licence would be required for Search and Chrome.

"If, for example, Samsung wanted to do a really pure Samsung device based on a forked version of Android, with a Samsung browser, Samsung Maps and Bixby as the lead voice assistant - but without the parallel Google services - they could", said Ben Wood, from the CCS Insight consultancy.

"In fact, the decision is created to allow, for the first time, competing search and browser providers to compete on the merits with Google for pre-installation on Android devices, leading to greater choice for consumers". In fact, these companies will now also be allowed to license Google's apps too, something that was previously not possible. While Android will continue to be free and open source, the lack of guaranteed revenue from Google search through Chrome and the Google app means that a license fee will be introduced for the suite of apps and services. "Android will remain free and open source." writes Google's Hiroshi Lockheimer in a blog post. The changes will kick in from October 29.

Android smartphone makers will have increased flexibility to distribute search and browser apps from Google's rivals such as Microsoft, Opera Ltd and Mozilla to develop devices with the operating system heavily customized.

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July, 18 2018 - European Union antitrust regulators hand down a $5 billion (£3.8bn / €4.3bn) fine to Google after a three-year long investigation. Even a company as big as Microsoft has found it incredibly hard to compete with Google's search engine. They're reliable because service workers can cache all of the assets they need to run. The EU Competition Commissioner gave Google 90 days to act upon the ruling.

This will also hopefully appease Google competitors which complained the current business model stifled competition to such an extent other products couldn't even hope to compete.

Next are the changes to the way Google apps are licensed.

Nov 3, 2009 - British price comparison site Foundem complains about Google's online search to the European Commission.

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