Android is an open source platform. Neither developers nor handset manufacturers pay royalties or license fees to develop for the platform. The underlying operating system of Android is licensed under GNU General Public License Version 2 (GPLv2), a strong “copyleft” license where any third-party improvements must continue to fall under the open source licensing agreement terms.The Android framework is distributed under the Apache Software License (ASL/Apache2), which allows for the distribution of both open and closed source derivations of the source code. Commercial developers (handset manufacturers especially) can choose to enhance the platform without having to provide their improvements to the open source community. Instead, developers can profit from enhancements such as handset-specific improvements and redistribute their work under whatever licensing they want. Android application developers have the ability to distribute their applications under whatever licensing scheme they prefer. Developers can write open source freeware or traditional licensed applications for profit and everything in between.
Android developers are free to choose any kind of revenue model they want.They can develop freeware, shareware, or trial-ware applications, ad-driven, and paid applications. Android was designed to fundamentally change the rules about what kind of wireless applications could be developed. In the past, developers faced many restrictions that had little to do with the application functionality or features:
n Store limitations on the number of competing applications of a given type
n Store limitations on pricing, revenue models, and royalties
n Operator unwillingness to provide applications for smaller demographics
With Android, developers can write and successfully publish any kind of application they want. Developers can tailor applications to small demographics, instead of just large-scale money-making ones often insisted upon by mobile operators.Vertical market applications can be deployed to specific, targeted users. Because developers have a variety of application distribution mechanisms to choose from, they can pick the methods that work for them instead of being forced to play by others’ rules.Android developers can distribute their applications to users in a variety of ways.
n Google developed the Android Market , a generic Android application store with a revenue-sharing model.
n Handango.com added Android applications to its existing catalogue using their billing models and revenue sharing model.
n Developers can come up with their own delivery and payment mechanisms.
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