Google charges Android OEMs for Play Store licenses

Android logoUpdate:Google contacted Ars Technica, and said it does not charge licensing fees for Google Mobile Services.

Any Android sales pitch is always sure to mention that Google's OS is "free and open source." The reality is that while the core OS is open source, all of the Google-branded apps that Android relies on to be a useful, competitive operating system are not part of Android—and not open source. OEMs must license apps like the Play Store, Gmail, and Google Play Services from Google. And now The Guardian is reporting that, like most licensing arrangements, the Android Google Apps are going to cost OEMs.

The dollar amount stated by The Guardian is $75,000 for 100,000 devices, or 75¢ per device. The price undoubtedly depends on the number of licenses being ordered and which OEM is ordering them—Samsung and Motorola probably pay very little, while a smaller OEM that isn't as important probably pays more. Google has never officially stated if the Google Play apps have a cost associated with them, and any licensing deals done with OEMs always include a non-disclosure agreement. The official Google Play licensing instructions basically boil down to "E-mail us. We'll talk about it."

A measly 75¢ per unit won't be vastly improving Google's bottom line anytime soon, and it's still is a good deal for what the Google apps offer. For comparison, it's widely believed that Microsoft charges $15 for each Windows Phone license. A dollar amount as low as 75¢ suggests some kind of legal reasoning, like a patent or third-party licensing fee that Google is passing on to the OEMs (though Google's doesn't grant patent protection to OEMs). Still, Google is doing just a bit of double dipping (and more)—charging OEMs for the Play Store, charging developers $25 to sign up for the Play Store, taking a 30 percent cut of Play Store sales, and showing ads to users in Maps, Gmail, and Google searches, all while collecting data on everyone.

With control of the most-used operating system in the world, Google can do whatever it wants.

Source: Ars Technica

Tags: Android, Google, OSes

Add comment

Your name:
Sign in with:
Your comment:

Enter code:

E-mail (not required)
E-mail will not be disclosed to the third party

Last news

Galaxy Note10 really is built around a 6.7-inch display
You may still be able to download your content
Facebook, Messenger and Instagram are all going away
Minimize apps to a floating, always-on-top bubble
Japan Display has been providing LCDs for the iPhone XR, the only LCD model in Apple’s 2018 line-up
The 2001 operating system has reached its lowest share level
The entire TSMC 5nm design infrastructure is available now from TSMC
The smartphone uses a Snapdragon 660 processor running Android 9 Pie
The Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017) Review
The evolution of the successful smartphone, now with a waterproof body and USB Type-C
February 7, 2017 / 2
Samsung Galaxy TabPro S - a tablet with the Windows-keyboard
The first Windows-tablet with the 12-inch display Super AMOLED
June 7, 2016 /
Keyboards for iOS
Ten iOS keyboards review
July 18, 2015 /
Samsung E1200 Mobile Phone Review
A cheap phone with a good screen
March 8, 2015 / 4
Creative Sound Blaster Z sound card review
Good sound for those who are not satisfied with the onboard solution
September 25, 2014 / 2
Samsung Galaxy Gear: Smartwatch at High Price
The first smartwatch from Samsung - almost a smartphone with a small body
December 19, 2013 /

News Archive



Do you use microSD card with your phone?
or leave your own version in comments (15)