Google's Andy Rubin on Android Market

Posted by: Olga Kharif on October 1, 2008

Andy Rubin, who heads up Google’s Android efforts, spoke to me yesterday about his vision for the Android Market. In particular, we talked about how the market will be different from Apple’s iTunes App Store and some other efforts, which also peddle software for cell phones.

Rubin’s message: Google won’t impose many of the restrictions Apple developers have been grumbling about. Unlike iPhone aficionados, developers using Android Market will, for example, be able to allow consumers to try their applications for free before they buy them. This may seem like a small thing, but developers name lack of free trial as one of the biggest reasons behind their lukewarm App Store sales.

Android Market also won’t place limits on how much bandwidth a given application may use up. T-Mobile G1 phone launch partner, T-Mobile USA, just announced that it will ask developers whose free apps take up more than 15 Megabytes of bandwidth per user per month to pay it a $2 monthly fee. Since G1 users will be downloading apps from the Android Market, which offers no such restrictions, that policy, it seems to me, may be difficult to enforce.

As a result, I wouldn't be surprised if some Apple developers migrate over. Android Market could end up being a bigger hotbed of innovation than even the App Store. "We want the next killer application to be written for cell phones, not the Internet," Rubin said.

Reader Comments

Erin

October 2, 2008 10:48 AM

Luke warm sales on the iPhone App store? Really? Might want to look into that before again...

Marin

October 2, 2008 2:03 PM

Agreed with Erin. the sales of iPhone apps is booming, with some developers raking in five figures a day. That's the reason why they put up with Apple's restrictive nature.

Kevin

October 2, 2008 2:36 PM

Where's the source!?

Why would Andy Rubin say, "We want the next killer application to be written for cell phones, not the Internet," when the whole point of the google phone is to put the internet on your phone and get the consumer to use the internet more?

This story doesn't add up and you're not sharing your sources.

Daragh

October 2, 2008 2:39 PM

Apple's on the move - they have already said that they will change the terms of their overly-restrictive NDA.

"Open wide" Apple!

Frank

October 2, 2008 2:42 PM

A very small number of developers are making piles of money in the App Store. I have two apps that have both done fairly well, but unless you are in the top 50 applications, and show up on the handset itself, you aren't bringing in enough to quit your day job. (then again, I suppose it depends on what your day job is).

jake

October 2, 2008 3:00 PM

I think the lukewarm sales is referring to a previous article about how developers see booming sales at first and then it just dies off completely as more competition comes. But that doesn't connect much with trials, seems like having trials won't alleviate that concern, perhaps only a little, where consumers can try stuff out and compare.

James

October 2, 2008 4:37 PM

T-Mobile's Applications Store is separate from Google's Android Marketplace. In particular, T-Mobile's store specifically excludes Android apps. Therefore, why does anyone think that T-Mobile's policies for it's own store will also apply to Google's store? They're separate!

Randy Fesse

October 3, 2008 2:25 AM

There are plenty of free trials in the iPhone App Store. Generally they are called "Lite" versions.

As for poor sales? Welcome to the economic reality of an open market. Some developers expect to be able to knock out a low quality app, do no marketing and make millions of dollars.

Dar

October 3, 2008 4:29 PM

I wish android the best because competition helps all consumers. But lets see....
Android phone will just run on any system and Apple is proprietary locked to AT&T. Oops, T-Mobile only. So much for that promise.
"T-Mobile USA, just announced that it will ask developers whose free apps take up more than 15 Megabytes of bandwidth per user per month" Hummm, haven't heard that one from Apple/AT&T.
"Unlike iPhone aficionados, developers using Android Market will, for example, be able to allow consumers to try their applications for free before they buy them. " This isn't a $1000 Adobe suite. They are typically $1-$2. Your bottled water costs more....
"Android Market also won’t place limits on how much bandwidth a given application may use up." Only after the initial 1GB limit generated so much bad press
And of course, lastly, and correct this if wrong, tethering is disallowed on Android/T-Mobile also. No advantage there either.
(And the phone is ugly to boot....)

GARIL

October 4, 2008 6:10 AM

Do we have a record somewhere of how much profits Apple is raking in from the App Store?

Johny

October 5, 2008 11:53 AM

Holy Hell people, you are so in love with Jobs that you reek of fruit... apple fruit that is. You're mad that a another software tycoon is going to create something more effecient than your beloved ipod phone. Go sip your lattes and enjoy your poetry readings.

Thor

October 5, 2008 2:42 PM

I'm with Dar on the "good for all consumers" but Dar's obviously biased to the Apple side of the house.There needs to be a limit to bandwidth or else everyone would crash the network constantly trying to download porn or something equally foolish. Try it before you buy it is ALWAYS a good business practice. Don't think so... buy your next $50,000 car online. Honestly, not sure what "tethering" is so I can't speak to that. Is is comparable to file sharing? Lastly, the phone is NOT ugly. It's just not an iPhone (with a real, non-glitchy keyboard and shock absorbent materials keeping all of the electronics in place, thereby, more durable). Oh wait! One more thing... wait for it. . . you can change your own battery in the G1!

www.planetoidandroid.com

October 6, 2008 5:36 AM

Dar - the G1 is T-Mobile only but the point is that the G1 is _an_ Android phone not _the_ GPhone. You can expect to see all sorts of Android phones coming out from different sources and on different operators over the coming year.

I agree with a lot of the other comments though. Saying that the Apple App store isn't successful just doesn't match the reality.

Android's appearance doesn't suddenly make everything from Apple cr@p and likewise its not fair to judge the android platform entirely on this first phone.

Beauty is subjective of course but from the pics at least I think that the iPhone is a lot more elegant than the G1.

(agree / disagree - feel free to let me know at my blog - www.planetoidandroid.com )

PlanetoidAndroid dot com

October 6, 2008 10:36 AM

quote:"T-Mobile only. So much for that promise."

The G1 isn't 'the Gphone' - there will be other Android phones from other manufacturers on other networks over the coming year year.

Joe

October 6, 2008 11:44 AM

You're forgetting the iPod Touch. The iPod Touch will have more downloads than the iPhone.

Dar

October 6, 2008 12:12 PM

" there will be other Android phones from other manufacturers on other networks over the coming year year"
But the idea was to have an open phone that you could simply use on any GSM network. Apple was (rightly) criticized for being locked to AT&T. Google came along and did the same thing. I was expecting more from Google; like an HTC handset that was not locked to a carrier.
" what "tethering" is ": Using your phone as a "modem" to hook your computer (laptop probably) to the internet using your phones data service. (See next item)
" limit to bandwidth" Don't advertise X Megabits/sec and then complain you cannot deliver it because of some unspecified network capacity problem (Comcast?)

pablo.lopez

October 6, 2008 5:06 PM

i think tht the gi is the best android in the world right know. i cant wait to the the release on october 22

Me

October 7, 2008 12:18 AM

The trials is why there are tons of "lite" versions on the app store. The problem being, with a lite version, you probably can't restrict it's use the way that a "free trial" can be limited? Actually, I don't see any problem...

Me

October 7, 2008 12:20 AM

Hey Kevin,

He said he SPOKE to him. It was a spoken interview. What source are you talking about? Try to comprehend what you read before you type next time...

Tom.K

October 7, 2008 10:58 AM

Dar stated

"But the idea was to have an open phone that you could simply use on any GSM network".

Oh so wrong, Dar! The idea was to create an open PLATFORM not an open PHONE. The G1 is simply the delivery mechanism. The idea was to create an open platform that all manufacturers could adopt that would allow for common services and apps that could be run on different phones on different networks.

Android was never portrayed 1) as a phone and 2) a phone that would be adopted by all networks worldwide.

Android is an OS and the G1 is a phone specific to T-mobile. The two are separate.

FItz

October 7, 2008 1:09 PM

I thought I read somewhere that the phone was "locked" for 90 days, then it is free for any service.

Man, if only I had the internet on my phone, I'd be able to look that up...

tom

October 7, 2008 2:02 PM

I hope it does well. I would rather have tmobile than att's lame network, billing issues, and corp greed.

iLA

October 7, 2008 5:35 PM

I have the iphone on tmobile (unlocked).
2 things:
1. MMS (iphone NO G1 Yes)
2. Copy and paste (iphone NO G1 Yes)

2 simple aspects that every phone should have but my revolutionary iphone dosen't.

I love my iphone but I also have a pre-ordered G1 coming. No disrespect but remember when google was just a search browser.

Dare I say...and the new!!!!

Written on a Macbook Pro

thomas

October 8, 2008 5:27 AM

may i mention people are forgetting how AT&T's so lame with their network, billing issues, and corp greed. as on the other hand i have both provider and gosh TMOBILE has the best low plans and offers more, rather than ATT. why is everyone comparing the IPHONE to the G1, it's best to try the phone out for yourself before speaking. cuz sooner or later everyones trying to get their hands on the G1 cuz of what it offers, and it offers more then what the IPHONE can do. more is better then being limited to what you have on an IPHONE. so wait it out and see

Alyssa

October 8, 2008 10:53 AM

this is in response to

Dar
October 3, 2008 04:29 PM

I wish android the best because competition helps all consumers. But lets see....
Android phone will just run on any system and Apple is proprietary locked to AT&T. Oops, T-Mobile only. So much for that promise.

The G1 can be used on any network after 90 days. When i get mine if I'd rather stick to my other phone i can sell to anyone whose network provides a SIM card, and there will be no restrictions

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Bloomberg Businessweek writers Peter Burrows, Cliff Edwards, Olga Kharif, Aaron Ricadela, and Douglas MacMillan, dig behind the headlines to analyze what’s really happening throughout the world of technology. Tech Beat covers everything from tech bellwethers like Apple, Google, and Intel and emerging new leaders such as Facebook to new technologies, trends, and controversies.

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