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Google Extends Android Market To More Countries

The number of nations from which developers may submit paid Android applications is now more than three times what it was a month ago.

Addressing an issue that has long vexed Android developers, Google on Thursday said that it has expanded Android Market support for buying and selling paid apps.

"We have been hard at work on this and it is my pleasure to announce that effective today, developers from 20 more countries can now sell paid apps on Android Market," said Google mobile platform manager Eric Chu in a blog post. "Additionally, over the next two weeks, users in 18 additional countries will be able to purchase paid apps from Android Market."

Previously, developers from just nine countries could sell paid Android apps: Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Spain, United Kingdom or United States.

In August, Pingdom AB, a Web uptime monitoring company based in Sweden -- a country where paid Android apps weren't then available -- published a blog post about the narrowness of the Android Market in which it suggested that Google's recent mobile anti-piracy efforts would be more credible if the company provided a legal way to buy Android apps in countries denied access to the Android Market.

So now there are 29 countries from which developers can sell their Android apps. The 20 new additions include: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Hong Kong, Ireland, Israel, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland and Taiwan.

In terms of buying apps, Android Market in two weeks will reach 32 countries. The new additions include: Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Israel, Mexico, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, Sweden, and Taiwan.

Google still has a way to go before it catches up with its rivals. Developers for iOS can sell their apps in 90 countries and Nokia developers have access to 190 countries.

Google also still has to address complaints about the lack of parental controls and poor app discoverability, among other issues.

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