Google plans to galvanize growth of its Android mobile operating system by partnering with manufacturers to introduce lower-priced devices optimized for emerging markets like India and China – the digital services giant also is mulling new application revenue mechanisms designed to attract more developers to the platform.
Google vice president of engineering Andy Rubin tells Bloomberg News the company will collaborate with OEMs like Huawei and LG to create Android smartphones targeting segments of Asia and Europe: “The down-market opportunity is about to happen,” Rubin said. “It’s actually quite a revolution.” While the United States continues to account for the majority of Android smartphone sales, consumer interest is surging in new markets like South Korea – according to Google, Android device activations increased from 100,000 a day in May 2010 to 160,000 a day in June,
With Google’s Android Market now offering about 65,000 applications, far behind the more than 225,000 iPhone and iPod touch apps in Apple’s App Store, the company also plans to fuel developer interest in the platform by introducing new in-app revenue opportunities like sales of subscriptions and virtual goods. In mid-May, digital commerce solutions provider PayPal extended its Mobile Payments Library to Android, enabling developers to monetize their applications via direct PayPal transactions–however, Rubin contends that dealing with multiple payment providers increases developer complexity.