Google has announced it has stopped approving licences for new Android phones sold in Turkey. That means new phones sold in the Middle Eastern country won’t have come pre-installed with the Google Play Store and Google apps like Gmail, Google Maps, Chrome and more.
First reported by Reuters, the issue stems from disagreements between Google and Turkey’s competition board. Back in September last year, the authority fined Google 93 million lira (roughly £12 million) for violating competition laws.
Following the decision, Google then made changes to its contracts. However, these were deemed to still be unacceptable by the competition board. The issue appears to surround the ability to change the default search engine on Android.
It’s worth noting every Android user in Turkey (a country with a population of over 80 million) will still be able to use their current smartphone normally. You won’t wake up to find all Google apps and services have been erased from your smartphone.
Only new Android devices sold in Turkey will be affected by Google’s latest decision.
Commenting on the matter, the American tech giant said: “We’ve informed our business partners that we will not be able to work with them on new Android phones to be released for the Turkish market.
“Consumers will be able to purchase existing device models and will be able to use their devices and applications normally. Google’s other services will be unaffected.”
All hope isn’t lost for Turkish consumers wanting to pick up the latest and greatest Android phones with Android apps pre-installed. Google has said it’s working with regulators to resolve the matter.
The Mountain View firm went on: “We understand that this creates difficulties for consumers, manufacturers, app developers and carriers in Turkey, and expect to reach a resolution with the TCA soon.”