Android Market to offer priced apps for G1

Developers in U.S. and U.K. encouraged to offer their apps for the G1 smartphone for sale

Starting today, developers in the U.S. and U.K. can charge for their Android applications, and T-Mobile G1 phone users will be able to purchase those applications at the Android Market.

The priced applications will be available in the U.S. to end users starting next week and to future users of other Android-based phones, once they begin shipping, according to a post today by Eric Chu on the Android Developers blog.

Last October, Chu reported in a blog that 50 free applications were available for download to the G1. He said that when priced applications begin appearing, developers will get 70% of the revenue for each purchase, with the remainder going to wireless carriers and billing fees.

Google Inc., the primary backer of Android, does not take a percentage of the priced application, he said. "We believe this revenue model creates a fair and positive experience for users, developers and carriers," Chu wrote in October.

Developers must pay a $25 registration fee so that Google can make sure they are authenticated and will be responsible for their apps, Google said.

Chu provided a Web address where U.K. and U.S. developers can upload applications. He said that developers in Germany, Austria, Netherlands, France and Spain will be allowed to offer priced applications later in the first quarter, and an announcement on support for developers in still other countries should come by the end the first quarter.

Buyers of priced applications will use Google Checkout for payment and billing, so developers must establish a merchant account at the same Web site where they publish their applications.

Today, the Android Market has free mobile banking, games, weather and mapping applications. If other mobile application marketplaces such as Apple's App Store for iPhone software are any indication, Android developers will offer a wide range of business and consumer-priced applications, including digital copies of the Bible and accounting spreadsheets.

Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.

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