Google Android platform head Eric Chu said Google isn't happy with the paid app progress of Android Market. The company needs to fortify its payment system to compete with Apple.
It's rare to catch any actual Android developers other
than the operating system creator Andy Rubin speaking in public. It's even more
rare that you'll hear one of the team express any negativity about the
Yet Eric Chu, group manager for Android platform at
Google, apparently acknowledged that Google is "not happy" with the
paucity of paid app purchases for the Android platform despite the fact that
consumers are activating
300,000 Android handsets each day.
got the story from Chu, who spoke
at the Inside Social Apps event in San Francisco Jan. 25. The revelation comes one day after Apple's App Store just passed
the 10 billion mark for apps downloaded for the iPhone.
Paid apps have lagged on Android for a number of reasons, including
the fact that spammy apps roll through the Android Market like
tumbleweeds. Inadequate billing options have been the main bugbear.
To wit, Chu also said Google wants to improve carrier billing
options this year.
The company launched
carrier billing for T-Mobile two years ago, but it wasn't until last
month that Google
the ability for consumers to pay for Android apps through their AT&T phone
Chu also revealed that Google will release an
in-application payment system this quarter. Such systems help developers monetize
beyond mobile advertising, selling virtual goods and other features within the
The in-app payment option was slated to drop last
quarter, but Google delayed the launch to get more feedback from developers,
So expect it to come this quarter to fill another need in
the Android platform that Apple's App Store already provides for its iPhone and
other iOS devices.
This is crucial; Android may have passed iPhone in U.S.
market share, but it's mantle will be severely challenged shortly after Verizon
the iPhone 4 Feb. 10.
Chu also apparently said the Android team is working on
products to improve Android Market merchandising and app discovery. This
includes removing apps that violate terms of service and improving application
That will apparently go above and beyond last month's upgrade
of the Android Market client.
That revision included a new carousel view on the home
and category screens for finding apps easier, a 15-minute refund window,
dynamic Wallpaper and Widget categories, among other things.