The Android Marketplace now takes payments in 131 countries, Google has revealed, leaving China and Greenland as the biggest blanks on the map along with some of the more war-torn countries. That's up from the 32 countries that supported paid apps last September, and includes the Philippines which has been a notable exception …
Why pay for your apps when you can get them free on your Android device? I thought the model was that as an Android developer you got all your money by giving your app away and then you use the ad service to make money? Isn't that what google have been pushing all this time.
The reality gap
Unfortunately the model and reality differs quite a bit. I have found that more and more apps on the download Market are not free. A lot of developers are also publishing "lite" and full-strength versions along the lines of the shareware industry.
Very sad, but if your livelihood as an Android apps developer depends on it, then you have no choice but to maximise your profits. The good news is that a lot of developers only charge about $1 USD but that is a day's earnings for a lot of people. By the same token I guess these unfortunate souls won't be able to afford an Android phone anyway so it is a moot point.
scammers likes ads, Google likes ads...
Nothing sad about paid versions, the AdMob implementation can seriously screw up performance (Angry Birds is unplayable on my phone with it enabled) and done badly annoys the hell out of users. The number of requests for paid versions of apps from users is quite surprising.
Beyond that the price of data to actually fetch those adverts can be significant on some tariffs, especially compared to average app prices.
TBH while it's obviously Googles preferred option everyone else (*) treats it as a last resort, ads piss of devs and users alike.
(*) because of course the market is totally drowning in scamware/crap that do nothing well apart from forcing adverts and/or malware on the unfortunate users, usually off the back of badly pirated apps.
Gibraltar should be between those two... still no Droid Market love, hence having to root my Desire to install Market Enabler.
Has two mobile service providers... but these are not recognised within the android market, so you only get the free apps that are available worldwide... apps like Skype won't appear in the market.
Looks like Bernard Matthews favorite country is lacking to on that map? That's a bigger omission than Gibraltar surely...
And what about Egypt, have they got to root their phones to download the android revolution?
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Does it support paypal yet?
...and Operator Billing?
How many of these 131 countries have operator billing? It's by far the easiest way to buy online apps, (even though it does mean giving a cut to the telco too).
It doesn't require you to give your credit card details to yet another third party, and for a developer, it means you can get the large number of customers who have no credit cards, or are unwilling to trust Google/Apple/Nokia with their card details.
Because they won't make much money out of it.
Google already shares the 30% with operators even if they don't do billing, so what's the point? (from Android Market T&C: "The Transaction Fee, as defined below, will be charged on the sales price and apportioned to the Payment Processor and, if one exists, the Authorized Carrier."
The Payment processor gets 5% (Google Checkout), so the 25% goes to the carrier either way.
Carrier billing means more paper, more records, more customer complaints about charges, it's not worth for most just to get 5% of sales.
Google not up to date
The country list still lists Netherlands Antilles. That country was dismantled on 10-10-2010, giving birth to the new countries (within The Kingdom of The Netherlands) Sint Maarten and Curaçao (also lacking in the list). (The smaller islands Bonaire, St Eustatius and Saba became public bodies of the Netherlands) Come on Google, how are you going to achieve world domination if you don't even know which countries make up the world?
Wrong country names
It is Burkina Faso, not Burkina. It means "the land of upright men" (from the time before a corrupt guy took over from Sankara).
Cote d'Ivoire not Cote d'Ivore