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European Commission fined Google a whopping $5.1 billion, as Google forced to Android OEMs to Google Chrome and Google Search apps which are against the business ethics, and Google has filed an appeal against the verdict from the EU Commission. In EU Commission rejects the appeal from Google, then the upcoming Android smartphones might not feature Google Search and the Google Chrome apps as a built-in app.
And now, according to a report from The Verge, Google has come up with a backup plan, where the company is planning to charge a license fee of $40 per device (Rs 2800) per device, which could drive the price of entry-level smartphones. This will be applicable for those smartphones that get activated on or after the 1st of February 2019.
Isn't Android an open source OS?
Yes, Android OS or AOSP alone is an open source OS, where smartphone companies can launch devices with Android OS. In this case, Google is charging for Google Services, which is not an open source service.
In fact, smartphone makers (especially in Europe) can still launch smartphones with Android OS without paying a penny to Google. However, in this scenario, those smartphones will miss on Google services like Google Play Store and other services, which is important to run some apps and games.
Having services like Google Play Store will enable faster and seamless app updates without worrying about viruses and malware. Companies can still offer some third-party app stores, which will have a limited number of apps and games compared to the Google Play Store.
Will it affect the Indian smartphone market?
As of now, the licensing strategy is only applicable for Europe, and Google might implement the same in India as well, which will drive up the price of the smartphones, especially the entry-level devices by a considerable margin.
However, as of now, there is no governing committee in India, which could question Google regarding consumer freedom with respect to apps and services that comes pre-installed in smartphones.