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Android Market Pricing, Geo-Targeting Details Emerge

We just got an email from the Android Market Support Team who shared some details of the updates coming as we move into the new year. The announcement isn’t earth shattering, but its great to see that Google is closely adhering to their timeline, seems right on target and is following through with all the promises they’ve made.

First off, early Q1 2009 will see geo-targeting capabilities for application developers, allowing them to select Germany, Austria, Czech Republic and the Netherlands for distribution with support for additional European and Asian countries soon after.

Secondly, paid apps will come in a tiered system due to the intricacies of country-by-country payment processes. Here is the order of Android Market Paid Application Rollout:

  1. United States and UK
  2. Germany, Austria and Netherlands
  3. France, Itlay and Spain

Additional country support will come further into Q1 2009.

Furthermore, Google will be contacting application developers to get further information for inclusion on the Android Market Website which at the moment doesn’t seem incredibly thorough. We expect that might change… but if not, we’ll whip a little something up ourselves.

Just in case you’re interested, I’ve pasted the full content of the email below:

Hello,

Thank you for your participation in Android Market!

Since we launched a couple months ago, the team has been working on
several significant updates to Android Market. I’d like to let you know
about these upcoming changes and what they will mean to you and other
members of our developer community.

Many of you have asked about international expansion plans. I’m happy to
inform you that Android Market will become available to users to download
apps in additional European countries starting early Q1 2009. Some of the
countries we will initially support are Germany, Austria, Czech Republic
and the Netherlands. As we add support for additional countries in Europe
and Asia, we will send out subsequent notifications to you. In
mid-January, we will update the Android Market publisher website to enable
country targeting. Please start thinking about which countries you want to
target and begin preparing your products accordingly (e.g.,
localization).  Note that your apps will not become available in these new
countries unless you specifically select them in the publisher website,
after we update it.

Additionally, I would like to confirm that Android Market will support
priced applications starting early Q1 2009, as we’d originally stated last
fall. Given the country-by-country work required to set up payment support
for developers in different countries, we will enable priced app support
in Q1 for developers operating in these countries in the following order:
(1) United States and UK; (2) Germany, Austria and Netherlands; (3)
France, Italy and Spain.  By the end of Q1 2009, we will announce support
for developers operating in additional countries. Developers operating in
the above listed countries should begin finalizing their priced
applications, including determining the appropriate pricing strategy.

Finally, please note that our team may need to occasionally contact you
via email or the publisher website to collect necessary product
information (such as screenshots and descriptions). This information would
be used for the Android Market website, found at
http://market.android.com, which gives applications a second channel of
exposure via the web in addition to the normal on-device access.

We will send out additional details on all these items in the coming
weeks. Thanks for your support, and we look forward to continue working
with you on Android Market.

Eric Chu,
Android Market

Are you as excited as us for all the great applications, improvements, updates, handsets and more that will come to Android in 2009? Get ready… its only a few days away!




  • Joel McLaughlin

    Quite frankly, I can’t imagine paid apps doing all that well. Since Android is open source, then the open source equivalents will be what are the most popular apps on Android. Paid apps will not be able to compete with open source apps. I have seen MANY apps in the store that state that they will remain free past the end of the year.

  • http://OrganizedFellow.com/ OrganizedFellow

    I’m voting quite the opposite of Joel above here.

    I believe that paid-for-apps will be far superior than Open Source apps for the sole reason that this is a global initiative. With so many members involved with the Open Handset Alliance, it’s not too long will we can expect something from some of the MAJOR software vendors to release something worthwhile.

    While the OS is OS (operating system is open source), you can’t expect ALL applications to be free.
    Just cause you paid for Windows to come pre-installed or MacOS pre-installed (which you clearly paid for), doesn’t mean that free software would be inferior.
    The same goes for the opposing end of the spectrum as well.

  • http://michaeljgorman.com Crater

    I agree mostly with OrganizedFellow. For a paid app to be worth while they will have to do a better job of whatever the free version can, otherwise they will make no money, and have wasted their time creating the app. It will lead to better apps from everyone I think, both paid and free.

  • http://dkworldwide.com/techlife Dave Kaufman – Techlife

    Companies like EA for gaming and Office like productivity apps are certainly planning to roll out existing codebases to this new OS/revenue stream. The paid for apps will strong.

  • http://blog.gauntface.co.uk Matt Gaunt

    I agree with both ways.

    Initially there’ll be a burst of paid apps that quite simply be amazing, then as time progresses open source alternatives will start to crop up.

    It’s simple up to the developers to make something of the platform and put spare time into it.

  • Jason

    Just because the os is open source doesn’t mean the most popular application’s cant be closed source. Inversely, just because an os is closed source doesn’t mean there can’t be popular open source applications. However, i’m quite sure that there will be a burst of worthless crap on the Market once paid apps hit. Just people looking to make a quick buck like they did with the iPhone app store. Luckily with the Android Market, by starting off with free only, they’ve dulled that initial golddigging quite a bit.

  • Matija

    I am dismayed by some of the wording in that message, specifically that saying that the apps won’t be available in countries not selected/localized-for by the developer. I live in Slovenia, which is a fairly small country, and I don’t expect many developers will bother translating their apps to Slovenian. I’m perfectly willing to buy apps in english, but it looks like the store will prevent me from doing that? GAAAAAAAHHHHHH!

  • http://android-japan.blogspot.com rizki

    Anyone know about the pricing structure in detail? how will the revenue be shared between Google, developers, others? any subscription-based pricing?

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