Carrier Billing Coming to Android
T-Mobile US Inc. announced this week that it will have the ability to charge to a subscriber's monthly bill as it launches its own custom channel on the Google phone. Previously, users have required a Google Checkout account -- and a credit card -- to buy applications on the store.
Verizon Wireless is working on a similar capability for its first Android phones. Keith Lampron, who works in Verizon's wireless data devices strategy and planning unit, told Unstrung yesterday that the carrier will offer the capability as it develops its V CAST custom channel on the Android phones. (See Verizon's Attack of the 'Droids.)
Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) is reportedly working on carrier billing for its Android offerings too.
Carrier billing is generally seen as a way to make purchasing applications easier for users. Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK)'s VP of product management, George Linardos, said back in May that app sales jump by 70 percent when operators move from credit card to carrier billing.
The much larger Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) iPhone app store, however, has seen great success with charging for applications through a user's iTunes account. Apple's App Store hit 2 billion downloads and now has more than 100,000 apps on hand. The Android Market passed 10,000 applications in September.
— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung