People have been expecting the paid Android apps market for months and it’s finally, officially here. What this means is that developers can start charging for their apps and consumers will start gaining access to and paying for selected apps on Android phones (which now is only the G1).
The Apple iPhone paid apps market has been very successful, with games leading the way among paid apps. Most of the top paid apps in the iTunes store run either $.99 or $1.99.
Apple takes a cut of every transaction, whereas Android/Google will not.
Perhaps the most interesting part of the announcement of the introduction of paid apps for Android was this:
Google Checkout will serve as the payment and billing mechanism for Android Market. Developers who do not already have a Google Checkout merchant account can easily sign up for one via the publisher website.
In other words both sides (developers and consumers) will need to use Checkout to participate. While this makes sense for Google — it’s a payment infrastructure that Google already developed — it’s another way to promote (or compel) Checkout adoption. By all accounts Checkout has had very limited penetration among consumers.
Mobile payments is another area ripe for development. PayPal has mobile payments and has been working on this area for quite some time. However, as Android phones proliferate Checkout may also prosper and Google may have its foot in the door of another emerging “industry.”