It appears Vodafone wants to get in on the highly-profitable success that is the Android Market by creating and controlling their own version for their Android handsets. As part of the Vodafone 360 experience, the Android App Shop will be available in select European markets initially, and eventually should roll out to Vodafone’s entire coverage area.
Apps will be vetted through a submission process managed by Arvata Mobile in Germany, and the App Shop should see it’s initial launch in the UK, the Netherlands, Spain, Germany, Italy, and Portugal. Apps will be charged directly to the customer’s cell phone bill rather than paid for through a separate process as is the case with ye olde Android Market, all in the name of Vodafone getting a 30% cut of all sales.
It seems more and more carriers are moving towards proprietary market apps, a move that is worrisome to say the least. Along with the blocking of unsigned apps on some carriers and handsets, this seems fundamentally opposite to what Android is as an open-source platform. Of course, along with being open-source also comes the right and ability for carriers and manufacturers to adapt and modify the existing OS to suit their needs.