After getting slapped by EU with a record fine of $5 billion for abusing the dominance of the Android operating system, Google has released an official statement hinting a future where Android might not be free.
European Commission fined Google for “three types of restrictions that [it] has imposed on Android device manufacturers and network operators to ensure that traffic on Android devices goes to the Google search engine.”
A tweet was later posted by Google after the decision saying, “Android has created more choices for everyone, not less.”
— Google Europe (@googleeurope) July 18, 2018
Later, a detailed post was also released on the official blog with the same title. In the post, Google took a firm stand for itself and said that Android has helped 1,300 different smartphone manufacturers to develop Android-based mobiles. Justifying its decisions by saying, Google said that open source platforms need to balance the needs of everyone to be successful.
Google also countered the EU’s statement which said that the tech giant has prevented manufacturers wishing to pre-install Google apps by saying that it’s easy to remove a preloaded app and replace it with an alternative.
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The company warned that EU’s decision could lead to drastic changes in the operating system paradigm prevalent in the smartphone sector. So far, Google has not charged anything from smartphone manufacturers for making use of their technology and have not bound them in a “tightly controlled distribution model.” However, it has reaped benefits by including their services forcefully in phones to amass all the traffic to their products.
Google hinted that the harsh decision would force it to charge Smartphone manufacturers for Android platform which would disturb the proprietary systems over open platforms.
What Could Change After the Fine?
- With Google taking the decision head on and blasting EU for it, it is possible that the Android business model can witness a massive change. If smartphone manufacturers are charged for using the Android platform, then it would lead to inflated prices of phones.
- European Commission has termed the bundling of apps like Google Chrome, Gmail, etc., as a violation of freedom. No suggestions have been made as to how this problem can be tackled but; we can see smartphones bundled with OEM’s browsers or third-party browsers which can directly impact the revenue Google generates from mobile ads.
- Another possibility is that we can experience the rise of browser applications as smartphones would not come pre-installed with Google Chrome. Chrome has shadowed many impressive browsing apps over the years, but this time it might not happen.
- The colossal fine can be an opportunity for other search engines to come to the limelight. However, this solely depends on the users’ decision to choose any other search engine over Google which is the favorite browser of a majority of people. There are many Google Alternatives that exist if you didn’t know.
European Commission’s stance has opened the doors for many competitors who were previously struggling hard because of Google’s dominance. However, many experts have said that this decision has been served very late. Google has already climbed a pedestal which is hard to reach by other companies. Nonetheless, the tech giant has not given up yet. The official blog post expressing resentment against the decision ended with Google saying that they intend to appeal.