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One of the biggest reasons why Google’s Android Market has many fewer applications than Apple’s App Store did at this stage in its existence is that the Android Market currently only allows for free apps. But that’s about to change.

Application developers have begun receiving emails from the Android Market confirming that support for paid applications is still on track for the early first quarter of 2009, developer Martin Drashkov reports on his blog. Specifically, support for paid apps is coming to the U.S. and U.K. in the early part of next year, with support for Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, Italy, France and Spain coming shortly after.

Some of the countries listed don’t yet have the Android Market at all, but the email also confirms that they will be getting them — and presumably Android-enabled phones — in the first quarter of the new year as well.

While this isn’t earth-shattering news, it’s good to hear that the paid apps program for the Android Market is still on track and should be here within weeks. Then we can really start to see how it will stack up against Apple’s App Store. After all, money is a huge motivator when it comes to the development of anything, and now that we’re seeing how much money iPhone developers are making, I’m sure those who want to specialize in Android apps are eager to start making money as well.

Just as with the App Store, developers of paid applications in the Android Market will get to keep 70 percent of their revenue. While Apple takes the other 30 percent from the App Store, Google isn’t seeing a dime of the revenue. Instead, the rest of it goes to the carriers and billing settlement fees, according to the Android Developers Blog.


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