A new agreement with Indian vendors of Android phones is allegedly being prepared by search engine giant Google.
The Mobile Application Distribution Agreement (IMADA) document’s updated India region-specific version has been obtained through a tip from Kuba Wojciechowski, also known on Twitter as @Za Raczke.
He claims that 11 essential Google apps, including Maps, Google Search, Youtube Music, Chrome, Drive, Gmail, Meet, Google Photos, Google Play Movies, and TV, are not necessary for phone manufacturers to market their products. Additionally, users can choose to install them on their own if you only give the Google Play Store app. Additionally, phone manufacturers are given the choice to pre-install them on their products when they sign a general MADA.
Google must compensate the latter for including its main apps, though. This isn’t the situation right now. According to reports, Google unilaterally agreed to provide Android software with Google Apps pre-loaded, and Android phone manufacturers were forced to take the offer. After taking note of the findings, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) fined Google Rs. 1,338 crore for abusing its dominant position in the Android mobile device ecosystem in late 2022.
Google declared earlier this year that it would obey the CCI order after the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) and Supreme Court offered no relief. The future licencing of specific Google apps for pre-installation on devices by OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers) like Samsung, Xiaomi, Oppo, Vivo, and others has been explicitly mentioned.
Additionally, the business will be releasing fresh updates for all Android devices that support them, giving users new alternatives to Google Search as the default search engine. In order to make Google Search the default browser on iPhones, iPads, and Macs, Google must give Apple billions of dollars every year. Of course, users will also have the choice to use DuckDuckGo, Bing, Brave, or another search engine in lieu of Google.
The amount Google will pay Android phone manufacturers to install its main apps is currently unknown. It will, however, undoubtedly be a transaction worth many billions of dollars. It is anticipated that the new contract will be inked in Q2. This implies that if phone manufacturers choose to sign IMADA, new phones that are set to launch in the April to June timeframe or later may only have access to Google Play Store.
Or else, they can negotiate a broad MADA agreement and provide essential Google applications. In this manner, it opens up a way for Google to generate good revenue. Despite this, the former still needs to pay a significant premium to acquire Android software because it is no longer offered for free.
Whether the manufacturers of Android phones choose to accept IMADA or MADA, Google will loose a sizeable portion of revenue flow. At the moment, Google’s primary source of income is from the ads that appear on its apps. Google also spends a sizeable portion of its income in protecting the Android ecosystem from cyber threats.
Google will be compelled to charge a premium to licence Android to phone manufacturers due to a potential decline in revenue caused by the new IMADA.
In the upcoming months, there is a good chance that Android phone prices will rise. Similar to cellular data rates, Android phones are extremely affordable in India when compared to other international markets. However, things might shortly change.