The Android Market is launching their paid applications section for the U.S. and U.K. this week. By allowing pricing for applications running on Google's mobile phone operating system, the company is providing incentive for developers and revenue for Google - they receive thirty percent of revenue. The Android Market launched in October 2008 at the time of the release of the G-1, the Android mobile phone currently available on the T-Mobile network.
Despite the Open Market ethos at the Android App Market, certain policies are in effect:
the pricing range for individual applications is $0.99 to $200 (IntoMobile )
items can be returned for up to 24 hours after purchase
users are allowed unlimited re-installs of purchased applications
upgrades and customer support must come directly from developer
sexually explicit material, bullying or hate speech are banned from the Market
billing disputes must be settled through developer or credit card company
Google's mobile subdivision has a lot of catching up to do. While Android Market currently has over 1000 free apps, the Apple App Store boasts over 20,000 apps and 500 million downloads. With those numbers, its not surprising that Palm, Research in Motion and Nokia have plans to increase or add competing app stores.
Jeremy Horwitz, editor in chief of iLounge, iPhone tracking site, said Tuesday in MediaPost that Apple the revenue of their store is $200 to 300 million. Not only that, these experience enhancers drive sales of the device itself.
There have not been numbers released on just how many G1s have been sold by HTC. However, more will be available - from T-Mobile more this year, from Sprint next year, and there are rumored releases from other carriers.
Paid apps will come to other European countries by the end of the first quarter, such as France, Germany, and the Netherlands. Android Market apps will be paid and powered through Google Checkout .