Android Market coming soon to Europe

January 19, 2009
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Though there is no confirmation or update on Google’s web page, some seem to think there is a good chance that the Android Market will soon become available to Android users in Austria, the Netherlands, Poland, Czech Republic and Germany in just a few weeks.  This comes just after an email sent to mobile application builders.

Hello,

I’m writing to let you know that Android Market will become available to users in Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, Netherlands, and Poland in the coming weeks. You can now target these countries for your application(s) via the publisher website at market.android.com/publish. As we add support for additional countries, we will send out subsequent notifications to you. Note that your apps will not become available in these new countries unless you specifically select them in the publisher website.

Thanks for your support, and we look forward to continue working with you on Android Market.

Eric Chu, Android Market

This means that users in these countries will not be without application services for a single day as the Android Market will become available before the handsets are even available. It is obvious that Europe is soon to get at least one Android-powered handset be it the T-Mobile G1 or not. This may also be an indication that paid apps will be available right off the bat in other countries.

UPDATE:

This press release was just brought to our attention confirming that Europe will be getting the "G1 phone." The Netherlands, Czech Republic and Austria will be getting this handset on January 30th. Germany will be getting it on the 2nd of February for only 1 euro ($1.33 USD).

HAMBURG, Jan 19 (Reuters) - German Deutsche Telekom's (DTEGn.DE) wireless unit T-Mobile will begin selling its G1 phone, which has been available in Britain and the United States since October, in several European countries in coming weeks.

The G1 phone, made by Taiwan's HTC Corp (2498.TW), features a touch-sensitive screen, a computer-like keyboard, and Wi-Fi connections as well as popular Google applications such as search, maps and mail.

It is considered the most likely contender to the iconic status of Apple's (AAPL.O) iPhone.

"We will introduce the G1 by Jan. 30 in the Netherlands, Czech Republic and Austria," T-Mobile Chief Executive Hamid Akhavan said on Monday.

The Android-based phone will be available in Germany on Feb. 2 and in Poland later that month, Akhavan said.

T-Mobile sells the G1 phone for $179 with a two-year contract in the United States and a T-Mobile USA executive has said an estimate of 400,000 phones sold by the end of 2008 in the United States was "not incredible".

Akhavan declined to disclose precise numbers but said the G1 was the most successful phone ever sold in the United States.

"We have sold several hundred thousand phones. Sales have clearly exceeded our expectations," Akhavan said.

In Germany the phone will sell for 1 euro ($1.33) in combination with a two-year contract with T-Mobile.

Mobile operators hope to generate continuous revenue streams from data traffic with the help of smart phones, as prices for mobile voice calls decline.

Google introduced its Android software system for designing mobile-phone devices in November 2007, in a move it promised could help the mobile phone industry make the Internet work as smoothly on phones as on computers.

Both Google and Apple are wooing developers to create applications for their devices, but unlike Apple, which keeps a tight grip on the iPhone's hardware and operating software, Google's Android is open to be changed by outside developers. (Reporting by Nicola Leske, editing by Dan Lalor)

(Thanks Miquel!)


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