Back in October of 2013, UK retailer teamed up with hardware manufacturer, KMS, and released an Android-based tablet called the MyTablet that was priced at a rather affordable £100. The bad news for those looking forward to a sequel is that it will not be happening simply because KMS has reportedly entered into liquidation following a disagreement with Argos, where the retailer had withheld £3.2 million in payments after they had discovered that KMS had installed Google Mobile Services onto the tablet without the proper licensing from Google.
If there’s one thing that people get a little confused over is whether or not Android is free. The core operating system itself is free and is open-source, but the right to preload devices with Google’s services require a license to be obtained from Google themselves. This is why lower-end devices typically do not come with said features simply because they might not be able to afford the license. However can’t this simply be settled by KMS obtaining a license or removing the services? Logically it would be, but perhaps due to some clause in the contract signed by KMS with Argos, even doing that will not be enough.
According to Argos, they claim that they are “deeply disappointed that [KMS] breached certain provisions in their agreement to supply products,” and that there could be potential legal proceedings. A former KMS director was even quoted as saying that it is “highly unlikely the company will ever come back.” This is not the first time a manufacturer has found themselves in hot water over not having a license from Google and we doubt it will be the last either.