AvocaGoogle apps on the £49 'Avoca' tablet were not properly licensed, according to reports

Following the arrival of cheap Android tablets from British retailers Argos and Tesco, retail chain Carphone Warehouse made headlines with the launch of its own budget slate, priced at just £49. By all accounts the "Avoca" tablet packed pretty basic hardware — a 1GHz CPU, WVGA display and 512MB of RAM stands out as being decidedly low-end — but at least it included the full suite of Google apps.

Now it seems the those apps may have been loaded onto the device without being properly licensed. The UK-based Mobile Magazine reports via "industry sources" that the Avoca's software was not licensed by Google, and as such manufacturer STB Developments had loaded apps like Google Maps and the Google Play Store onto the tablet without permission. Applications like this form the GMS (Google Mobile Services) package, which is licensed separately to the open-source Android OS.

One of Mobile Magazine's sources succinctly summed up the situation, saying "someone screwed up and now they are holding a lot of stock they can’t shift." A CPW spokeswoman told the outlet that it was investigating the issue. In the meantime the tablet is no longer available for sale.

Searches for the Avoca on the retailer's website direct users to a help page informing them that it had been "let down" by the supplier and it would no longer be able to deliver the tablet. Instead a second tablet with slightly higher specs is being offered to Avoca customers as a replacement.

Source: Mobile Magazine, Carphone Warehouse


Reader comments

Carphone Warehouse tablet withdrawn from sale following licensing blunder


No, not unless you're selling them. End users are permitted to install gapps, but manufacturers need to go through Google's approval and licencing process. In fact that's why ROMs like cyanogen mod come without them. There's a lot of difference between use and distribution.

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I always wondered why CM did it that way but a lot of the other custom roms include them. I didn't think CM was selling anything.

It is kind of dumb that many cheap sub $100 tablets don't have play store. Last year I brought a craig 7" 741e tablet for clearance but at least you can sideload play store into the tablet.

A cheap tablet like this would be great for young kids. At least it seems like a better deal than going the innotab (or whatever they are called) route and paying $20 for each game.

Has anyone worked out that Argos have fallen into the same trap. They say its a stock issue.... Hoho.. anyone who knows the GMS rules will tell you otherwise.

I wonder if it is illegal just to include instructions on how to sideload the play store. That way a manufacturer could avoid including the gapps and stay somewhat competitive with non technical users.