An Android device isn’t worth much unless it comes with Google Apps, like the Play Store and its associated services. What’s the point of owning new Android hardware when there is no app store or one with far fewer apps than the Play Store? This is why most manufacturers license Google Apps.
Android is a free and open source operating system. Anyone can use it freely, but it doesn’t come with many apps. Things like Gmail, the Play Store, and Chrome aren’t included. You have to pay to license these apps from Google, which is how Google makes money and guarantees Android devices with its services follow certain standards. However, this licensing has been a mystery for quite some time.
That mystery may have finally come to an end today, because The Guardian claims to have discovered the cost of licensing these Google Apps. The cost is said to vary depending on the volume of devices, but 100,000 tablets costs a manufacturer $75,000, or $0.75 per device. This can be higher or lower depending on the device in question.
At under a dollar per device, Google really isn’t charging a lot. This doesn’t add much money to the cost of the device, and it can be easily recouped through sales. It’s nice to see info like this come out, though this source could be way off, so all of this info should be taken with a grain of salt. What are your thoughts on Google’s licensing fees?
Update: It looks like that source wasn’t quite correct. The license is free from Google, but what costs money is the testing of the device. And according to new information, testing can cost $40,000 for a model that will be manufactured in at least a 30,000 unit batch. Manufactures can pay half up front and half when testing is done. However, that price can vary depending on the manufacturer.