Android In-App Payments Coming Soon — Were Delayed Because Developers Were Busy

Today at the Inside Social Apps conference in San Francisco, Inside Network’s Kim-Mai Cutler sat down with Eric Chu, a group manager at Google for the Android platform. The two discussed the platform mainly from a developer perspective. And the initial question may have been the most interesting.

When asked about the status of an in-app payment system for Android, Chu noted that it was set to launch last quarter, but it was forced to be delayed. Why was it delayed? “Developers were busy with their Christmas applications,” Chu said. “So we couldn’t get enough feedback,” he continued.

Helping developers monetize is very important to us,” Chu said promising that instead in-app purchase ability will come this quarter. “So stay tuned,” he said.

Cutler asked if the plan was to use carrier billing for this in-app purchases when it does launch? Chu responded that they’ve invested a lot in carrier billing over the past several months. “It’s one fo the lowest-friction models,” he said. But he said it wouldn’t just be carrier billing, they’d use the Android Market payment system as well, and they’re working on adding other methods. When they do add more, developers won’t have to do a thing, Chu said.

Later, a question from the audience asked if the in-app system would require the latest versions of Android, Chu ensured everyone that the majority of current Android devices will be able to use the system.

Chu also reiterated that apps coming through the Market will have to use Google’s own payment offerings. But those outside the system can take advantage of Android’s openness.