Google reportedly charging Android OEMs for apps/services

Though providing its version of Android for free to OEMs, a source tells the Guardian Google (GOOG) is now charging for access to its built-in apps and services, such as Gmail, YouTube, Maps, Now, and Google Play.

An OEM shipping 100K units is reportedly charged $0.75/device. That figure is a small fraction of the ~$15 Microsoft charges OEMs for Windows Phone licenses, and is also much less than the Android royalties Microsoft reportedly collects from licensees.

But with Gartner estimating 1.1B Android devices will be shipped this year (not all of which will have Google apps/services built-in), even small per-device fees can add up. More importantly, collecting small fees today can set a precedent that enables larger fees to be collected down the line.

One potential roadblock: The EU began investigating Google last spring over allegations it's violating antitrust laws by creating exclusivity deals with OEMs related to the bundling of its apps/services with Android.

Update: Google denies charging OEMs a licensing fee for its mobile apps/services. The Guardian's story has been amended.

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Comments (8)
  • samuel_liu
    , contributor
    Comments (2753) | Send Message
    "a source tells the Guardian Google (GOOG) is now charging"


    I mentioned this over half a year ago, check my comments.
    23 Jan 2014, 08:06 PM Reply Like
  • chopchop0
    , contributor
    Comments (5218) | Send Message
    and aapl bulls swore android had no ability to directly make money for goog lol
    23 Jan 2014, 08:13 PM Reply Like
  • Randal James
    , contributor
    Comments (4420) | Send Message


    Have to confess this makes sense other than Android is free and the Asians have already designed systems that DON'T use Google as a primary search engine. (Not sure about maps, there are just a few respectable mapping libraries.) Doesn't charging the OEMs make them want to embrace Samsung's Tizen or another Asian-centric OS?
    23 Jan 2014, 08:13 PM Reply Like
  • samuel_liu
    , contributor
    Comments (2753) | Send Message
    Dear Randal:


    The popularity of such free OSes I feel would make vendors want to create their own versions of it, e.g. Amazon, Huawei.


    Google probably doesn't charge so much as say Microsoft that its OEMs are starving for profits.


    Tizen has to prove itself, just as the legendary COS would.


    One thing interesting on Google in Cn, is though I put up with those delays to live on Google, and other Cn search engines have become more competent. Shame on Bing!


    Long MSFT, not GOOG
    23 Jan 2014, 08:21 PM Reply Like
  • silverscreen
    , contributor
    Comments (255) | Send Message
    Looks like you are from China, so I can't comment on Chinese Bing. In North America Bing is pretty good now.
    23 Jan 2014, 10:08 PM Reply Like
  • justaminute
    , contributor
    Comments (1644) | Send Message
    Wait until they start charging for android.
    23 Jan 2014, 10:07 PM Reply Like
  • Jeach!
    , contributor
    Comments (896) | Send Message
    "The EU began investigating Google last spring over allegations it's violating antitrust laws by creating exclusivity deals with OEMs related to the bundling of its apps/services with Android."


    Isn't this directly out of Microsoft's play-book? Nothing happened to MS, so why would they go after Google? Makes no sense!


    And yes, I am biased... I love Google!
    24 Jan 2014, 01:04 AM Reply Like
  • danny007
    , contributor
    Comment (1) | Send Message
    I am a hobby investor and have a position in Apple and Google. This kind of nominal fee is definitely an opportunity for Google to start to monetize every which way they can. The fundamental model of charging a licensing fee for an operating system is dead. Apple put the nail in the coffin when the announced last year that all OS X versions and upgrades are free, as well as giving away important productivity apps on all new devices. Google too doesn't charge for productivity software used through Chrome.


    Google's current stock price reflects the moat they have built themselves around search and Maps. With Auto manufactures clamoring for Android integration in the form of Maps, Contacts, Phone and Search this further consolidates Googles position. Samsung does not have a plan B, Tizen is essentially dead in the water right now and so Google has no worries about Samsung dropping Android anytime soon.


    Apple will release numbers on Tuesday for the last quarter with ALL analysts expecting record numbers. Expect to see a lift in Appl stock come Tuesday. Apple is further consolidating their position as the ultimate luxury good in mobile, this ensures apple can continue to charge more than any other OEM for mobile devices in the coming years.


    Samsung should be worried, Apple is almost certain to bring out larger tablets in 2014 and this should see more Android users moving over to Apple.


    26 Jan 2014, 05:03 PM Reply Like
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