Summary: Android might not remain Free in the coming Future. The EU has forced Google to unbundle its Chrome and search apps from Android. This decision might have some implications for the future of Android’s free business model. Google CEO Sundar Pichai outlines the company’s response to the EU’s $5 billion fine. Pichai highlights the fact a typical Android user will “install around 50 apps themselves” and can easily remove preinstalled apps. Mobile manufacturers might not be able to include Google apps on their wide range of devices. Pichai hints that the free Android business model has relied on this app bundling.
We all now have a habit to see Google apps on our smartphone from the first boot. And most of us enjoy and prefer using Android with some Google apps and not other manufacturers company app. But this might be the end and we might have to change this habit.
Recently the European Union has Fined Google with the record-breaking amount of €4.3 billion ($5 billion). The European Commission says Google has abused its Android market dominance in three key areas. This EU’s decision might have some implications for the future of Android’s free business model. The CEO of Google Mr. Sundar Pichai on a blog post defending the Google’s decision to bundle search and Chrome apps on Android said.
“If phone makers and mobile network operators couldn’t include our apps on their wide range of devices, it would upset the balance of the Android ecosystem,”.
Which completely explains the fact that phone makers will no longer be forced to bundle these apps but can still choose to do so. Pichai later hints that the free Android business model has relied on this app bundling.
“So far, the Android business model has meant that we haven’t had to charge phone makers for our technology, or depend on a tightly controlled distribution model,” says Pichai. “But we are concerned that today’s decision will upset the careful balance that we have struck with Android, and that it sends a troubling signal in favor of proprietary systems over open platforms.”
These statements about Android’s business model might be a warning for consumers, phone makers, and the European Commission. The EU has made no suggestions on exactly how Google should solve its app bundling violations. But it’s clear that if phone makers can bundle their own browsers instead of Chrome and point search queries toward rivals, then that could have implications for Google’s mobile ad revenue, which constitutes more than 50 percent of the company’s net digital ad revenue.
As a result of the decision, Google might start charging for Android. The company will need to consider licensing Android to phone makers. You might not be able to use Chrome or Google search on Android just after unboxing your phone after Google’s unbundling. Pichai’s warning looks more like a bluff to court popular opinion than a genuine threat that Android will no longer be free. Which indeed is a bad news for everyone as it might make smartphones costlier and might include different and less reliable apps on the phone. Which I think is a bad idea.