Google could finally face serious competition for Android

The fact alone that Google will start charging in Europe for what one could fairly call “parts of” Android is in itself huge news. The change, announced yesterday as a result of a European Commission lawsuit, is a major shift in Google’s business model and has the potential to loosen the company’s grip on the search and browser market. It is a big deal.

But of all the changes that this new licensing model could bring, simply charging licensees might not be the biggest. The biggest detail could end up being that Google’s phone and tablet partners — like Samsung, LG, and Motorola — can now offer Android-based phones in Europe without any Google apps and services on them. That’s a huge deal, and if manufacturers are daring enough to try it,…

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