- Our partner agreements are entirely voluntary -- anyone can use Android without Google. Try it—you can download the entire operating system for free, modify it how you want, and build a phone. And major companies like Amazon do just that.
- Manufacturers who want to participate in the Android ecosystem commit to test and certify that their devices will support Android apps. Without this system, apps wouldn’t work from one Android device to the next. Imagine how frustrating it would be if an app you downloaded on one Android phone didn’t also work on your replacement Android phone from the same manufacturer.
- Any manufacturer can then choose to load the suite of Google apps to their device and freely add other apps as well. For example, phones today come loaded with scores of pre-installed apps (from Microsoft, Facebook, Amazon, Google, mobile carriers, and more).
- Of course while Android is free for manufacturers to use, it’s costly to develop, improve, keep secure, and defend against patent suits. We provide Android for free, and offset our costs through the revenue we generate on our Google apps and services we distribute via Android.
- And it’s simple and easy for users to personalize their devices and download apps on their own -- including apps that directly compete with ours. The popularity of apps like Spotify, WhatsApp, Angry Birds, Instagram, Snapchat and many more show how easy it is for consumers to use new apps they like. Over 50 billion apps have been downloaded on Android.
Our partner agreements have helped foster a remarkable -- and, importantly, sustainable -- ecosystem, based on open-source software and open innovation. We look forward to working with the European Commission to demonstrate the careful way we’ve designed the Android model in a way that’s good for competition and for consumers.
Posted by Kent Walker, Senior Vice President & General Counsel