Report: Google will kindly let Android OEMs build Amazon Fire devices

Report: Google will kindly let Android OEMs build Amazon Fire devices

Zoom / Let’s see, I’ve made it into my Google Ads space, and with three houses… that would be $1,400.

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Can Android manufacturers ship Android forks? This is a tricky, scary question that OEMs have to ask, and Google probably liked it this way. The contracts that Android OEMs sign with Google — which are necessary for licensing the Play Store and other Google apps — state categorically that there are no forks. Google says that using Android will damage the Android ecosystem, so OEMs must pledge never to be involved in the production of an Android device. Some regulators – namely in the European Union – have ruled that the “no forks” clause in the Android contract is illegal And that Google can’t penalize OEMs who stay away from the Walled Garden. The EU doesn’t control the entire world, so while Google can’t penalize manufacturers within the EU, what happens in the rest of the world?

Google’s anti-split provision has always been a big problem for Amazon, whose Fire OS is the first fork of Android out there. Since most major technology manufacturers are somehow involved in the production of Android phones, tablets, TVs, laptops, cars or watches, Amazon has always had claw and scrape To find someone willing to make Fire hardware. Amazon complain about this to the Competition Commission of India last week, saying: “At least seven OEMs have indicated that their ability to enter into such a manufacturing relationship with Amazon is either completely blocked or significantly limited (for example, in terms of geographic scope) Contractual obligations to Google. India is the largest market for Android, so any judgments there are worth paying attention to.

The new TCL TV runs Amazon's Fire OS, which is a fork of Android.
Zoom / The new TCL TV runs Amazon’s Fire OS, which is a fork of Android.


A new report from Protocol Janko Roettgers says that Google is succumb to this restriction, at least for TVs. The report says that Google and Amazon have “cut a deal” that will allow Android manufacturers to make TVs running Fire TV OS, and that TCL, Xiaomi and Hisense will offer products in both ecosystems. TCL has already announced the beloved name “CF63K Fire TV SeriesFrom TVs — 4K and 60 Hz Fire TV with Amazon Alexa. The company also makes bundles with Android TV and Roku software. Xiaomi, the Android original equipment manufacturer, also announced Fire TV group This is possible.

Google’s agreements with manufacturers are confidential, so it was many years Since we’ve taken a look at what exactly manufacturers are agreeing to. Overall, though, the story goes that the Android platform code is open source, and Google Apps isn’t. Manufacturers aiming to build a viable product need access to the Play Store, all the core APIs locked into Play Services, and killer Google apps like YouTube and Google Maps. All of these apps must be licensed (and the name Android, which is a registered trademark of Google), and that license contains an “anti-fragmentation” agreement that prohibits manufacturers from getting bogged down in a device that isn’t running a Google-certified version of Android. If a manufacturer builds a forked device and violates this contract, Google can revoke the license of its Google app and kick it out of the Android ecosystem. Indian competition commission investigation repeat Lots of these points, but unfortunately all the exciting pieces have been revised.

Even though manufacturers apparently got approval from Google to make devices for a competitor, Google is still keeping things a bit murky. Protocol says that “officially, Google’s position has not changed,” and the company provided a statement indicating that these anti-fragmentation rules still apply. The rules are clearly not in place, and the European Union has specifically ordered Google not to enforce them. Xiaomi and TCL Fire TVs be It was only announced for Europe, so Google probably follows different rules for different places. The evidence will be in devices shipped in any country.

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