Questions about Android licening

Discussion in 'iPad' started by iOSWriter, Sep 12, 2011.

  1. iOSWriter, Sep 12, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2011

    iOSWriter macrumors newbie

    Jul 31, 2011
    When people say Android is a free or open source system does that mean Google doesnt charge licening fees to vendors/manufacturers that use it in their hardware devices? Like do these vendirs get to ask Google for the source code and approval without contracts or fees of any kind? Or when th say an open and free platform are hey only talking about customization of the UI and software by vendors? (Like them being qble to move stuff around or change stuff without agoogle's approval and any can have it.)

    Because I know that even some really cheap tablets or phones use it that couldnt possibly have much profit margins to oay Google. Does anyone know how it works and what kidn of cut agoogle gets if at all?
  2. FloatingBones macrumors 65816


    Jul 19, 2006
    I'm not an expert on this topic, but I think I have a pretty good picture.

    AFAIK, google charges no fees for anyone to use Android. However, there are contracts. If you are a manufacturer and you agree to some rather rigorous conditions, you get access to the code much earlier than someone who doesn't agree to those conditions. Also, I believe there are some Google apps that are only available to vendors who agree to those rigorous contracts.

    I don't have any particular problem with Google's approach: if they had a truly open system, ensuring the quality of products made with it would be very difficult. My main objection is that Google implies there software is truly open and it is not.

    The UI customizations you note point to a fundamental problem with Android: customers may get replacement hardware where the software behaves in a very different fashion than their old hardware. Users who don't want to fiddle with their machines may not like that; some users may go to Apple phones to ensure they get a consistent experience when they update their hardware.

    There's plenty of good writing about the "open" issue with Google Android. You should google on it. :)
  3. benhollberg macrumors 68020


    Mar 8, 2010
    Google does not charge licensing fees for Android.
  4. psonice macrumors 6502a

    Jul 22, 2005
    Google may not charge for android licensing, but microsoft and other companies do. ;) Quite a few android licensees have been politely asked by MS to pay license fees as android uses MS's patented tech, and most seem to have looked into it, agreed, and decided to pay up.

    There's a few other companies claiming license fees the same way I think, and apple is of course suing several companies over the same issue (apple might not want license money though, which would cause major headaches for the android makers as they would have to start removing features instead of paying to use them!)
  5. benhollberg macrumors 68020


    Mar 8, 2010

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