Just before the weekend, Google dropped word to developers that paid Android apps support was on its way to more countries than the 14 currently supported. In the email, the company did not specify a timeframe other than “over the next few weeks” and stopped short of saying which markets would be gaining support for paid apps.
So far, the startup has identified 13 ‘new’ countries: Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Finland, Hong Kong, Israel, Mexico, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Singapore and South Africa. Other reports suggest Sweden and Hungary are two other countries that are starting to see paid apps support. Note that we haven’t yet confirmed this is actually the case for these countries, but Distimo’s tracking system was built to pick up things like this.
If all this checks out indeed, Google would be at least (and at last) doubling the amount of countries where users can purchase Android apps, which would in turn be nothing short of terrific news for many a developer. This greatly expands their potential reach and thus money-making opportunities – even if this is only a start – and it would most definitely reduce the gigantic proportion of free-only apps currently in the application store over time.
Here’s the email Google sent out before the weekend:
We’re writing to inform you about some changes to Android Market that require your attention.
Over the next few weeks, we’ll be adding paid apps support for additional countries. If you have selected to publish your paid apps to all locations and intend to support all new locations as we expand the number of supported countries for paid apps, you don’t have to do anything. If you have selected to publish your paid apps to all locations but intend to only target the currently supported 14 countries, please update your location selections to target these specific countries.
Please look for follow-up emails when we introduce paid apps support for specific additional countries in the coming weeks. At that time, you’ll have the option to target these specific countries.
Thanks, and we look forward to continue working with you on Android
The Android Market Team
1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
Mountain View, CA 94043
We’ve contacted Google to see what’s up and hope to provide more details soon.
For now, if you’re an Android user based in any of the countries put in bold above, let us know if you can actually locate any paid applications in Android Market, and if you’re effectively able to purchase them already.
In August 2005, Google acquired Android, a small startup company based in Palo Alto, CA. Android’s co-founders who went to work at Google included Andy Rubin (co-founder of Danger), Rich Miner (co-founder of Wildfire), Nick Sears (once VP at T-Mobile), and Chris White (one of the first engineers at WebTV). At the time, little was known about the functions of Android other than they made software for mobile phones. This began rumors that Google was planning to enter...