Google Extending Paid Android Market Apps to More Countries
Google has notified developers that it will extend support for paid applications to more countries all over the world, according to ReadWriteWeb.
RWW said registered Android apps developers received an e-mail a few days ago that said:
Over the next few weeks, we'll be adding paid apps support for additional countries. If you have selected to publish your paid apps to all locations and intend to support all new locations as we expand the number of supported countries for paid apps, you don't have to do anything. If you have selected to publish your paid apps to all locations but intend to only target the currently supported 14 countries, please update your location selections to target these specific countries.
I asked Google, and a spokesperson told me: "We're working hard to bring paid apps to new countries around the world but have nothing more to announce at this time."
That means it's a done deal, it's just not formally ready for announcement even though firms such as Distimo found 13 new countries where paid content has been added, joining the 14 where they were already available.
The current 14 countries where developers may sell Android apps are: Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Spain, the U.K., the U.S., Australia, Canada, the Republic of Korea, New Zealand and Switzerland.
Distimo said it found evidence of paid Android apps in Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Finland, Hong Kong, Israel, Mexico, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Singapore and South Africa.
It's about time. The dearth of paid app coverage in Google's Android Market had become a serious detriment to the viability of the company's application store, paving the way for more app piracy. Who wants to buy any apps when the bulk are free?
What it's done is opened the door for Verizon Wireless to step in and offer V-Cast Apps for Android with carrier billing support. Amazon is also reportedly building an Android app store and tablet to showcase its applications.
Verizon, it's now clear, is looking to manage the apps that appear on its popular Android devices, including the Droid lineup and Samsung Fascinate.
Such is how it is: the beauty of Android is that its open source; the horror of Android is that it's open source.
Since Google hasn't carefully curated the Market, other market opportunities have presented themselves.
By opening up payment options for more countries, Google hopes to staunch any exodus to other Android app stores.