Android Smartphones May Become More Expensive As Google Clashes With EU

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If there's one thing I hate about the European Union, It's the way they keep coming up with irrelevant policies every now and then.




I can still understand the fact that Android is one of the most widely used mobile operating system on the market, hence, it is subject to scrutiny and constant assessment by regulators from the countries where it is present. However, now according to the latest reports, Google will charge $40 per device for Android. 

This is coming as a result of a fine imposed on Google by the European union. In case you don’t know what happened, in July the European Commission fined the tech giant Google because they felt the company took advantage of Android’s market leadership to force distribution of the search application and Chrome on the various smartphones manufacturers. In exchange, Google provided these companies with a license to access the Play Store at no cost.


The European Commission allegedly considered this anti-competitive, because, it “denied rivals the chance to innovate and compete on merits.” Although it is appealing the fine, the tech giant Google decided to change its licensing rules to comply with the determinations of the European authorities.


This is where the issue of license collection appears. Android itself, when treated solely as an operating system, has open source and zero cost as long as there is no Google app in pre-installation. But to make it minimally usable to the user, you need to include applications and services. But these tools are not free or open source, hence, it is necessary to license them.




Before the fine, the manufacturer who wanted to insert a Google application into their device (for example, the search engine) could do so if it installed everything else like Chrome, Maps, To Do, among many others. In return, there was no charge for licensing.



But that was not the only rule, as the tech giant, Google allowed the installation of competing applications. If a manufacturer wanted to distribute the Bing app, for example, it would have to position the Google search engine on the Android home screen. This is what the European Commission has played, essentially.

As a precaution, the tech giant Google is treating the matter with secrecy, but the documents obtained by The Verge indicate that this licensing scheme will be kept optional. If a manufacturer wants to install Google applications but does not follow the conditions of the company, it can do so, but paying for licensing.

If companies end up paying for licence for Google products expect the price of each phone released by smartphone companies to go up a bit. Unless Google decides to restrict the law to Europe else you’ll be paying more for an Android phone soon.



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