In its efforts to compete and takeover iOS, one of Google’s key focuses is its Android Market. In order to surpass Apple in the mobile customer arena, the internet giant needs to make its app marketplace as featured-packed and safe as possible, and news of 2 moves aiming towards that just crossed the wire.
An official blog post in the Android Developers blog announced that Direct Carrier Billing is now available to Sprint. This much more simpler payment method was introduced to Sprint after previous launches for AT&T and T-Mobile users. The service was also available to users of the Japanese carriers SoftBank, KDDI and NTT DOCOMO.
“We believe that Direct Carrier Billing is a key payment option because it lets users purchase and pay for apps more easily. It’s also important because it offers a convenient way to buy in regions where credit cards are less common.”
Google is very eager to grow Android’s existing hefty share of the mobile market, and it’s also working beyond the consumer level to achieve that. After it has allowed T-Mobile to do the same, Sony Ericsson has joined the club with its own channel in the Android Market. The channel replaces the “My Apps” link for Sony Ericsson device holders, and offers exclusive content such as plug-ins for its Timescape and camera application. The eventual goal of the channel is to attract developers to use it as a promotional tool.
The Android Market has its share of competition, and not just from the App Store. Nokia’s Ovi Store is home to 40,000 apps serving 200 million users, and even before its expansion to Windows Phone 7, the app market already reached the 5 million downloads peer day milestone. And, with the adoption of WP7, Google can expect the growth if yet another rival.