Feeds

UK, German Android-ers can buy apps on phone bills

Vodafone is the first domino to fall

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Vodafone will be the first operator in Europe to add the cost of apps to the phone bill, signing up with Google Marketplace to offer the service in the UK and Germany.

Vodafone customers with Android handsets will be able to have the cost of applications added to their bill, or deducted from their prepaid balance, with the intention of selling stuff to those without credit cards as well as increasing the barriers to entry for Marketplace competitors.

Vodafone started offering its own channel in the Android Marketplace last month, recommending the operator's top 25 Android applications. That runs alongside the Vodafone Shop, an online portal which is just about all that remains of the much-hyped "Vodafone 360" offering.

The billing relationship an operator has with its customers is still valuable, even if it's not as valuable as Vodafone's CEO thought it was in 2007. Operator billing not only allows customers without credit cards to buy applications, and make purchases within applications, but it also discourages customers with credit cards from handing the details to Google and thus maintains the operator relationship.

For Google, operator billing encourages use of the platform, while making alternatives such as SlideMe or Amazon's app store more complicated to use.

The complexity is in the prepaid market, where credit has to be reserved during download, then deducted after installation. That complexity has discouraged operator billing in markets where credit card ownership is near universal, but now that Vodafone has started it seems likely the other operators will follow. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Scrapping the Human Rights Act: What about privacy and freedom of expression?
Justice minister's attack to destroy ability to challenge state
WHY did Sunday Mirror stoop to slurping selfies for smut sting?
Tabloid splashes, MP resigns - but there's a BIG copyright issue here
Hey Brit taxpayers. You just spent £4m on Central London ‘innovation playground’
Catapult me a Mojito, I feel an Digital Innovation coming on
Google hits back at 'Dear Rupert' over search dominance claims
Choc Factory sniffs: 'We're not pirate-lovers - also, you publish The Sun'
EU to accuse Ireland of giving Apple an overly peachy tax deal – report
Probe expected to say single-digit rate was unlawful
Inequality increasing? BOLLOCKS! You heard me: 'Screw the 1%'
There's morality and then there's economics ...
While you queued for an iPhone 6, Apple's Cook sold shares worth $35m
Right before the stock took a 3.8% dive amid bent and broken mobe drama
EU probes Google’s Android omerta again: Talk now, or else
Spill those Android secrets, or we’ll fine you
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.