Google will soon start charging parts of Android in Europe. This change was announced just yesterday as a result of a European Commission lawsuit. This is a big deal as it may loosen Google’s grip on the search and browser market.
This is not good news at all. Charging licenses is not the biggest change that this model could bring. Google partners like LG, Samsung and Motorola could eventually offer Android smartphones and tablets without any Google apps or services on them such as casino app that you us that you use when you play at top online casinos. This could mean that eventually, the Android phones market will be offered elsewhere out of Europe.
Google has, in the past, locked phone and tablet makers into its ecosystem. This meant that manufacturers had to include Google apps and services on every phone/tablet they made.China was an exception because Google doesn’t operate in that country.
Essentially, companies have been forced into this deal. Most Android apps are distributed through the Google Play Store. Most of those apps actually depend on the Google Play Store to work.
Abandoning Google means abandoning the Play store too. This means devices will be shipped without popular apps like Instagram, Facebook, etc. phone manufacturers will have to find an alternative app store. They will also have to rework their apps so they can work without Google services.
The European Commission fined Google $5 billion for this “illegal practice” with Android. The commission requires Google to stop placing this arrangement on its partners.It went on to say that Google denied users access to other smart mobile devices innovation. It went further to say that Google closed off an important channel for competitors to introduce apps and services.
This move would mean that phone manufacturers will have to create their own app stores and back end services. This would be a definite mess for developers and would just confuse users.
Also, some independent third party could set up their own app store and become the Android distributor. The stores could then offer better terms and enforce privacy requirements to protect consumers. The app ecosystem could then flourish because of this.
This means that Google now has to be careful. Now, Android phone makers have an alternative. This could be the first serious threat to Google’s worldwide phone dominance since before the time of mobile casino games.