Feeds

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

Vodafone is the first domino to fall

Maximizing your infrastructure through virtualization

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. ®

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
White? Male? You work in tech? Let us guess ... Twitter? We KNEW it!
Grim diversity numbers dumped alongside Facebook earnings
Microsoft: We're making ONE TRUE WINDOWS to rule us all
Enterprise, Windows still power firm's shaky money-maker
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.