Android manufacturers will have to pay a huge amount to Google in Europe in order to include Google’s Play Store and other mobile applications on their devices. A confidential fee schedule shows costs up to $40 per device to install the suite of apps called Google Mobile Services, a group of apps that include the Google Play Store. The new fees depend on the country and device type and would apply to devices that are activated on or after February 1st, 2019.
This is because Google’s licensing terms are changing in Europe. Google apparently, has made this change on account of a European Commission ruling that barred the company from requiring phone manufacturers to bundle Chrome and search with the rest of its suite of apps. Although they haven’t given a lot of information about these fees in their recent public statements, documents reveal the deal will be rated by country and pixel density.
Which means that high-end phones, which have a high pixel density will cost more.
EU countries are divided into three parts, with the highest fees coming in from the UK, Sweden, Germany, Norway, and the Netherlands. In those countries, a device which has a pixel density higher than 500 ppi would have to pay a $40 fee. 400 to 500ppi devices would pay a $20 fee, while those devices under 400 ppi would pay only $10. In some countries, the fees are as low as $2.50 for lower-end phones.
Beyond offsetting the upfront fees, manufacturers would also have to preinstall Chrome or they could miss out on search revenue from the browser. The new agreement states that Google would not pay search revenue sharing for devices that do not preinstall Chrome and place it in the phone’s home screen dock.