Android Market now accepting premium apps

Google announced its Android Market virtual application storefront now is accepting premium apps from developers in the U.S. and U.K.; first launched in October 2008 in conjunction with T-Mobile USA's G1, the first phone powered by the Android mobile OS, Android Market was previously restricted solely to free applications. Developers on both sides of the Atlantic may now upload their premium apps and end-user pricing here. According to Google, the apps will go live for U.S. consumer download sometime during the middle of this week. The web services giant said it will extend end-user support to additional markets in the months ahead.

"We will also enable developers in Germany, Austria, Netherlands, France and Spain to offer priced applications later this quarter," writes Android program manager Eric Chu on the Android Developers Blog. "By the end of Q1 2009, we will announce support for developers in additional countries." Chu adds that Android Market for free applications will become available in the Australian market beginning Feb. 15, with a Singapore launch slated to follow in the coming weeks.

Shortly after Android Market opened, Google promised developers it would begin selling premium applications by the end of the first quarter, adding it would hand over 70 percent of revenues to developers and allot the remaining 30 percent to operators and billing settlement fees, taking no cut for itself. "We believe this revenue model creates a fair and positive experience for users, developers and carriers," Chu said at that time. In late January, while reporting its fourth quarter profits, Google CFO Patrick Pitchette said Android Market offers about 800 free apps.

For more on the Android Market premium update:
- read this Android Developers Blog entry