We heard the news today that paid apps in Android market place have been extended to 18 new countries. Could “Carrier Billing” (Allowing your service operator to add the apps’ price to your cellphone bill) be the reason behind it? I think so. It was long suggested that Google Checkout and corresponding legal issues in using it across various countries was the reason behind the paid apps not being available in those countries. The, all of us developers got an email from Google on 24th of July about an updated Developers’ Distribution Agreement, which basically said in clause 13.1 that “authorized carriers” had been added as an indemnified party in the apps sales.
What’s more is that the agreement had a 30 day period to be accepted (August end), and then just one month after that we got the news of so many new countries being added. Sounds mighty coincidental to me. I think it would have been much easier for google to work through the carriers to allow paid apps than burning through all that red tape for its own google checkout.
This is good news, if true because carrier billing is much more convenient I think. Plus it can be used even if you do not own a credit card. Let’s hope for the best :)