Android to get paid-for apps

February 17, 2009 | 11:10

Tags: #android #android-marketplace #applications #app-store #commercial #content #developer #developers

Companies: #google

Google has entered the add-on mobile software fray with the launch of paid-for content in its Android Market site.

As reported by The Register yesterday, the company has introduced functionality to its Android Market which allows developers to sell commercial software for its Linux-based mobile operating system.

Based around the same concept as Apple's App Store for the iPhone and iPod Touch, the Android Market is a single location which contains applications created by third-party developers – but unlike the App Store, all content was previously made available for free.

The introduction of commercial content opens the – admittedly, still small – Android market for exploitation by developers large and small. With a generous chunk of the proceeds of each sale – 70 percent, the same cut as Apple's own mobile marketplace – going to the developers, there's certainly room for profit to be made if a suitably high-demand application is produced.

Interestingly, Google has chosen not to treat the marketplace as a cash cow of its own – at least, not yet. While the proceeds of each transaction – carried out via Google Checkout, naturally – are split 70/30, the 30 percent share goes towards the mobile providers themselves. While this doesn't leave any money behind for Google – unlike Apple's deal, which sees the company keeping the 30 percent share for itself – it does encourage providers to allow unfettered access to the Android Marketplace, and not to attempt to offer a watered-down version of their own.

The company is currently rolling the new Android Marketplace out in the US, with paid-for apps due some time towards the end of this week. The UK will be next – although a timescale has not yet been provided – to be followed by Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, France, and Spain by the end of March.

Have you been waiting for commercial support of the platform before jumping to Andriod, or is it going to take more than some overpriced applications to convince you it's a decent mobile platform? Are you a developer hoping to branch out into Google's new system? Share your thoughts over in the forums.
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