Google To Start Charging Android Device Manufacturers for Pre-loading Its GApps

Android manufacturers will now be paying $40 per device to Google in Europe to be featured into Google Play Store and other mobile apps such as YouTube, Drive, Maps, etc.

According to a new report from The Verge on Friday, a confidential fee schedule discloses costs as high as $40 per device to install the “Google Mobile Services” suite of apps.

“The new fees vary depending on country and device type, and it would apply to devices activated on or after February 1st, 2019,” the report said.

“Google is also offering separate agreements to cover some or all of the licensing costs for companies that choose to install Chrome and Google search on their devices as well, according to a person familiar with the terms,” it added.

However, the tech titan is yet to comment. Earlier this week, Google said it was updating the compatibility agreements with mobile device makers and may ask them to pay a fee for Google Play and other its other Android apps used in Europe.

The move was to comply with the decision of the European Union’s anti-trust watchdog’s decision against Android. The European Commission ruled that forcing device manufacturers to pre-install Google Search and Chrome was against its competition rules and fined the tech giant a whopping $5.1 billion in July (Google has appealed against the ruling).

For the distribution of its apps, Google is expected to start collecting royalties from 28 European countries including Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Lichtenstein based on pixel density. Reportedly, the rates for the most expensive countries are as follows:

  • $40 for each device with a pixel density above 500 ppi
  • $20 for each device with a pixel density of 400 ppi
  • $40 for each device with a pixel density below 400 ppi
  • Tablets are capped at $20

With the new changes to Android that will come into effect on October 29, smartphone makers in Europe will need to pay for certain Google apps. While Android will remain free and open source, Google will offer separate licenses to the Google Search app and to Chrome.

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