Posted by: Olga Kharif on February 13, 2009
Today is a big day for makers of software for Android, an operating system developed by a consortium of companies lead by Google and used in cell phones and other devices. Android Market — the portal where users of Android-based devices can download applications — announced that it’s now accepting not only free but also paid applications from U.S. and U.K. developers. First paid apps will become available in the U.S. starting mid next week and will use Google Checkout for payment.
This is a big deal: Apple has seen huge demand for iPhone and iPod applications available on its iTunes portal. More than 500 million apps have been downloaded in the past half a year. While there aren’t that many devices running Android out yet, that will change this year. Dozens of manufacturers are embedding the software into netbooks and smartphones. Touch Revolution is planning to come out with a home phone running Android. Just today, Motorola announced it’s tinkering with using the software in paper-thin digital e-readers.
Were Google to catch up with Apple on paid downloads growth, Android Market could turn into a nice revenue generator for Google.