Is Google forcing OEMs to put ‘Google apps support’ tag on retail boxes?

Is Google forcing OEMs to put 'Google apps support' tag on retail boxes?

Chinese electronics company Xiaomi has released the Xiaomi Mi 10 and the Mi 10 Pro with a noticeable “with easy access to the Google apps you use most” tag seen on product boxes.

The tag on the product boxes drew a lot of attention and left people wondering why the Chinese OEM would put it in their packaging.

First, all Xiaomi smartphones ship with Android installed, thus it is already given that Google apps are easily accessible.

Plenty of tech enthusiasts including Michael Josh of GadgetMatch called it Google’s way to throw shade at Huawei phones which did not have Google apps installed. But was it really there to throw shade at another Chinese manufacturer?

Google mandated copy

Xiaomi has clarified that the retail packaging statement is Google’s requirement.

According to the company, Google stated that all smartphone manufacturers are required to put the statement if the device ships with Google Apps.

Due to the confusion in China, Xiaomi quickly released a statement and clarified the reasoning behind the controversial copy.

The statement is in Chinese and here is the rough translation:

      1. This copy is from the promotion requirements of the partners in the latest cooperation agreement, similar to the “powered by Android” displayed on the Android phone and the “Intel inside” on the computer.
      2. Because the previous version of the agreement between Xiaomi and its partners has expired, Xiaomi becomes the first batch of contracted manufacturers of the new version of the cooperation agreement and is also the first manufacturer to release new products after it becomes effective.
      3. We hope that global mobile phone manufacturers can cooperate smoothly with all partners to create a richer ecosystem.

The agreement mentioned in the press release pertains to the Mobile Application Distribution Agreement (MADA). MADA is the contract that smartphone manufacturers sign to be able to distribute their devices with Google software.

With Xiaomi’s statement, it was clear that their contract expired and the new MADA mandated the inclusion of the controversial copy on its device packaging.

More OEMs to follow Google branding guidelines

More companies are now expected to have the tag after Xiaomi’s revelation.

The intent of the copy was to inform the public that certain devices include Google Apps that are not part of the Google Mobile Services (GMS) core applications.

The default GMS includes Google App, Google PlayStore, Google Chrome, Gmail, Google Maps, and Youtube. Other applications that, when installed, require the copy, are Google Pay, Google Podcast, Google One, Google Contacts, Google Calendar, and many more that are within Google’s ecosystem.

Google’s intention with the clause is still unclear. Besides, having an Android phone is already synonymous with using Google Apps unless a better third-party software for the user’s needs comes along.

Featured image courtesy of Xiaomi.

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