In a blow to Google, AT&T is reportedly eyeing development of a new smartphone that would run on an alternative version of Android from Cyanogen.
According to a report from The Information, the carrier was previously in discussions with ZTE to create the device, but that deal could be put on hold in light of U.S. trade restrictions that were recently levied against the Chinese manufacturer.
Unlike the standard version of the Android operating system (OS), Cyanogen’s version nixes the inclusion of Google’s apps on the platform.
As pointed out by The Verge, the leap would make AT&T responsible for the upkeep of the altered OS, but could allow the carrier more leeway to customize devices with its DirecTV offerings.
AT&T’s consideration of an alternative to Google’s standard Android OS comes amid a string of investigations into the tech giant’s practice of pre-installing its own apps on the platform.
Earlier this month, an appeals court in Russia upheld a ruling against Google that found the company guilty of violating the country’s anti-monopoly laws.
According to Russian regulators, Google ran afoul of the country’s competition laws by mandating the installation of certain Google apps and its search engine and dictating their “priority” placement on the main screen of Android devices.
Regulators said the requirements prevented the pre-installation of apps from competing producers.
Yandex, the Russian search engine that originally brought eh suit against Google, also took its complaints to the European Union for investigation.
Google will also face off against the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, which in September opened an investigation into similar allegations that Google prioritizes its own products over those of the competition.