Google’s Android Market is criticized for spam, piracy and inadequate security, but there is another big issue that is hindering the application store’s growth.
That snafu is paid applications, or the lack thereof in Android Market. Android developers can sell apps to consumers through Android Market in only 13 countries.
These countries include the United States, Canada, U.K., Australia, Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Spain and Switzerland.
Missing is support in much of Europe, including all Scandinavian countries, and China, where mobile apps are consumed like water. Google has said it is working hard on boosting its paid app support, but details are vague.
Considering that Android phones are available in 46 countries, users can purchase Android apps in fewer than 30 percent of the available market, as Royal Pingdom pointed out Aug. 16.
Meanwhile, Apple’s App Store, considered the template for the mobile app era, supports paid apps in 90 countries.
People can snicker, quibble and bicker all they want about the advantages and disadvantages between Apple’s proprietary iPhone ecosystem and Google’s open-source platform.
But Pingdom correctly noted iPhone developers have a big advantage in selling their wares over Android developers because they have more users to target.
Pingdom further posited that this discrepancy between the number of free and paid apps is the reason why there is so much application piracy in the Android Market, which offers 70,000-plus apps.
When people can’t buy what they want, they steal it.