While Amazon’s Fire TV isn’t officially available here, the streaming service does have a market segment in other countries, with the US – unsurprisingly – being one of them. Sadly, it is unable to transition from physical streaming devices to being integrated into Smart TVs. The reason? Google apparently isn’t allowing it.
According to a report by Protocol, Google has reportedly kept many smart TV makers on a short leash with its Android TV policies. The search engine reserves the right to rescind its Android licenses from TV makers that deliberately run and forked version of its OS. Giving consumers access to Amazon’s Fire TV.
To break it down further, Google’s policies state that if a Smart TV manufacturer wants access to features and apps like Google Play, the TV must run a compatible version of Android at all times. As mentioned earlier, failure to do so can and will reportedly allow Google to revoke its Android licenses from the offending TV maker.
To be clear, the rescinding of its Android license is just limited to a manufacturer’s Smart TV. It also means that the affected brand will not be able to install Google Play or its apps on other Android-powered devices. Which could be devastating for brands like Samsung, Sony, or LG, that also make smartphones and tablets.
Google’s stringent policies over its Android OS also shows a company that is trying, in the US at least, to wrestle market share from Amazon. At the time of writing, Google currently hold just 9% of the total market share, while Amazon currently hold 12%.