It looks like Google is getting ready to push its Android Market a few giant leaps toward the big time as it prepares to finally support the sale of commercial applications. In an email to developers, Google stated that two big Android Market moves are coming in Q1 of this year: First, Google’s answer to the App Store will become available in Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic and the Netherlands over the coming weeks, with additional European countries to follow later in the quarter. Secondly, the Android Market will begin supporting paid applications starting in the US and UK in “early Q1,” followed by other European locales as payment systems go live. This marks a major step forward for both Google and the Android platform in general as a business solution / viable commercial resource for developers. It’s not just developers who should be rejoicing either. In general, companies and individual third-party developers alike will only spend a certain amount of time and money on free apps. Unless an app is to be riddled with annoying and cumbersome advertising (hello, free iPhone apps), paid apps are often more visually pleasing and offer more advanced functionality than freebies. Of course some companies might issue great free apps to draw attention to other services, but the general rule still stands: Commercial apps are often a different breed. So, Android fans, it looks like you’ll be starting out the new year with a bang as we all anxiously await the announcement of some new Android-powered handsets.
[Via Phone Scoop]