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The Cost Of An Android Smartphone Could Rise ‘Dramatically’

The cost of Android smartphones could dramatically rise with Google owners Alphabet set to charge to get access to apps.

The Company is looking to charge up to US$40 or $56 per device to get Google apps loaded onto a device, this could double the price of some value devices.

Alphabet said that they will charge hardware firms up to $40 per device to use its apps under a new licensing system to replace one that the European Union this year deemed anti-competitive.

At this stage the plan is to only roll out the new charges in Europe following EU Government meddling in the way that Google currently works with smartphone brands but there are no assurances that the licensing program will not be rolloed out into other markets.

The new fee go into effect on Oct. 29 in Europe. The fee can be as low as $2.50 and rises depending on the country and device size, a Google person said. It is standard across manufacturers, with the majority likely to pay around $20, the person added.

Companies can offset the charge, which applies to a suite of apps including the Google Play app store, Gmail and Google Maps, by placing Google’s search and Chrome internet browser in a prominent position. Under that arrangement, Google would give the device maker a portion of ad revenue it generates through search and Chrome.

The European Commission in July found Google abused its market dominance in mobile software to essentially force Android partners to pre-install search and Chrome on their gadgets. It levied a record $5-billion fine, which Google has appealed, and threatened additional penalties unless the company ended its illegal practices.

The new system should give Google’s rivals such as Microsoft more room to partner with hardware makers to become the default apps for search and browsing, analysts said.

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