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Google's Android Market accepts price tags

Anglo-American coders get license to sell

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US and and UK developers can now include price tags when uploading mobile apps to Google's Android Market, the Chocolate Factory's answer to the iPhone App Store. Google says that priced apps will go on-sale sometime this week - but only in the US.

On Friday, with a post to the official Android Developers blog, Googler Eric Chu said that non-free apps will reach non-US handsets "in the coming months." And by the end of March, Google will allow true app sales from developers in Germany, Austria, Netherlands, France, and Spain.

Meanwhile, the company has now opened a free-app Android Market in Australia. And free-apps will reach Singapore "in the coming weeks."

Google first launched its US Android Market in late October, following the debut of the first Googlephone: T-Mobile's G1. But up to now, it has only offered free applications.

Naturally, the priced-tagged Android Market will use Google Checkout, the Chocolate Factory's answer to eBay's PayPal. Developers who don't have a Checkout account - i.e. almost every developer on the planet - can sign up for one at the official Android publisher site.

Developers can upload applications for all Android Markets - including the new US priced market and the new OZ free market - from the same site.

Despite what BusinessWeek thinks, the Android Market will not be a Google revenue generator. At least not yet.

Developers get a 70 per cent cut from app sales, and the remaining 30 per cent goes to wireless carriers (after the subtraction of billing settlement fees). Unlike Apple over at the iPhone App Store, Google does not take a cut for itself. Apple makes the same 70-30 split, but keeps the 30 for itself. ®

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