In the next three months, you may see a dramatic change in the way Android smartphones and Google apps are used. The EU competition regulator has issued a record $5 billion (4 billion 300 million euro) ticket to Google on the grounds that the latter abuses its dominant position in the Android mobile operating system to help Google compete for applications and services.
Specifically, Google's abuses include:
1) require manufacturers to pre install Google search application and browser application (Chrome) as an empowerment condition for Google Play store (store).
2) pay to some large manufacturers and mobile network operators on the condition that they must pre install Google search apps on devices.
3) prevent manufacturers who want to pre install Google applications to sell so-called "Android Forks" smart mobile devices, that is, running the Android alternative version of the operating system that has not been approved by Google.
The European Commission said in a statement: "these practices have given Google's competitors no chance to innovate and compete in terms of standards. At the same time, European consumers can not enjoy the benefits of effective competition in important mobile areas. According to the EU anti trust act, these are illegal acts.
Now everyone is thinking of a big question: how will fines and other punishments affect current or future Android phones? Google is planning to appeal against the ruling of the European Commission, so if Google wins the appeal, the ruling may still be overturned.
But assuming that the European Commission's ruling is finally established, let us see what changes Google needs to make to the Android operating system:
1. many Android phones may no longer pre install Google's Chrome browser and Google search applications, including Google's intelligent voice assistant Google Assistant controlled AI.
At present, Android smart phone manufacturers need to pre install services such as Chrome and Google search, so that their customers can access Google application stores and enable millions of users to use their application libraries.
If Play Store is not accessible, Android smartphones are doomed to fail because of lack of application, because mobile application developers usually develop applications only for Apple's iOS and Google's Android.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai (Sundar Pichai) is introducing Google intelligent voice assistant Google Assistant
90 days later, if Android smartphone manufacturers are reluctant to include Google Chrome or Google search, Android phones may no longer support Chrome or Google search. However, smartphone manufacturers can pre install their own browsers and search applications without the need to introduce Chrome or search applications.
This usually does not affect people who use default browsers on smartphones, such as Samsung browsers. But anyone who wants to use Google browser and Google search on Android smartphones without pre installed applications needs to first find them in Google Play and install them manually.
Smartphone manufacturers may still include Chrome and Google search, but they do not necessarily have to be bound. Many Android smartphone manufacturers have launched their web browsers as default browsers, but they also use Chrome as an alternative, usually hidden in the application library of smart phones.
If you use other Google products and applications, there are several advantages to using Chrome, because they can be synchronized, easy to use and automate. Google has also gained more advertising revenue from Chrome users.
As for Google search, Android users do not necessarily have built-in local access functions, such as Google Assistant artificial intelligence (AI) voice assistant or Google search bar, these functions are usually installed on the Android mobile phone main screen. Google Assistant is currently the company's top priority because AI is regarded as the next frontier in the field of technology.
2. non Google search application and AI assistant
Even if Google wants to pay smartphone makers to offer Google search function exclusively (and Google Assistant), it can no longer do so, because the European Commission considers this to be illegal. So you may see that some companies do not preinstall Google search and Google Assistant on their Android smartphones.
Instead, the smartphone manufacturers launched their own search apps, or third party search apps, and preinstalled them on Android smartphones. The same applies to smart phone manufacturers' own or third party AI voice assistants.
3. more smartphones carry different operating systems, but they are still based on Android.
We may see more smartphones running different operating systems. These different operating systems may still be developed based on Android, but they are different in appearance and way of work, and have never been fired since they have not been approved by Google in the past.
Without Google's approval, these Android based operating systems will not be able to access applications in Google application stores. As mentioned before, the Android phone that can not access Play Store is doomed to fail.
Recall the Fire Phone of Amazon, which runs the Fire OS operating system based on Android. Fire OS on Fire Phone has not been approved by Google, so it can not enter Google application store. The lack of applications, coupled with several other important reasons, has led to the gradual disappearance of Fire Phone.
Now, in accordance with the requirements of the European Commission, those operating systems that have not yet been approved by Google and based on Android will be able to access the applications of Google Play Store. Therefore, we will see that Samsung, LG and any other Android smartphone manufacturers use different Android operating systems, such as Fire OS of Amason (Amazon).
Ultimately, smartphones running different versions of the Android operating system will still be Android phones in essence. It can still access Google's Play Store and Android applications, which may be one of the most important factors in the success of Android phones.
4. technically, Google only needs to make these changes in the EU, but it can change the Android in other parts of the world.
Google apps on smart phones logo
The European Commission's request will not force Google to change the Android system outside the European Union. Therefore, technically speaking, Google can continue to maintain normal business outside the European Union.
Having said that, Google still needs to launch an independent EU version Android operating system after making changes. This may lead to confusion between Google and Android, and may exacerbate the fragmentation of the Android ecosystem.
The ecosystem of Android is fragmented, which means that most of the existing Android phones are running different versions of the Android operating system. Fragmentation can lead to security problems, and will also bring obstacles to Android application developers. The introduction of an independent EU version of the Android operating system may make the fragmentation problem worse.
Google plans to appeal against the ruling of the European Commission, but you can see that these changes will appear on Android phones sooner or later because there is no time frame for success. (compile / golden deer)