Nov 16th, 2011

The holiday season is nearly upon us and pretty soon gift seekers will be rampaging around retailers looking for the perfect gift. The best gift you could give an Android lover, or anyone with an Android device, is an Android Gift Card allowing them to buy apps, games, music, and movies at their leisure. They could even make in-app purchases, redeem coupon codes, or take advantage of special gift promotions.

Android Gift Cards are the best holiday gift of 2011… but they don’t exist.

I’m desperately hoping this is a surprise announcement included in today’s Google Event. I think it would be an instant success, net a ton of revenue for Google, and encourage spending on apps, games, and media from mobile devices. Has anyone besides me wished Android Gift Cards already existed?

In my mind, this is one major advantage that Apple has over Android. App and Game developers can provide users with promo codes that offer discounts and even free apps. Want to run a contest for free copies of your app? No problem! Want to hold a special offer where the first X people get a promo code for a 50% discount? No problem! How about providing promo codes to journalists (ahem) so they can easily review paid versions of apps and games without having to work out a way to be reimbursed by the developing company? Yes please.

We’re fully expecting Google’s event today to focus on Google Music and based on the invitation, we’re also expecting T-Mobile to be involved somehow/someway. But when you start incorporating more forms of media and entertainment into an online store, the need for coupons, gift cards, and promo codes greatly expands. It’s possible that Android Gift Cards are one component to today’s announcement, although I’ve heard it mentioned nowhere beyond my own brain.

Assuming Android Gift Cards don’t become a reality today, how many people would urge Google to make them available in the immediate future?