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12/11/2009
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T-Mobile Adds Carrier Billing For Android Market

The move could make the mobile platform more attractive to developers because it offers a seamless way to buy applications.

T-Mobile is looking to make it easier for Android users to buy applications and the fourth-largest U.S carrier has introduced carrier billing for Google's mobile app store.

This move means users of T-Mobile G1, myTouch 3G, Motorola Cliq, and other Android phones on T-Mobile no longer have to enter their credit card information or use Google Checkout to buy programs. The billing option could make the platform more attractive to developers because it could spur users to buy more programs.

Data from the mobile advertising specialist AdMob indicates Android and iPhone owners both download apps at a rapid pace, but Apple users are more likely to pay for them. One of the potential reasons for this is that Apple's store is tied into the iTunes juggernaut, which offers a frictionless way to buy programs because it already has a credit card associated with the account. Rivals like the Android Market or Research In Motion's BlackBerry App World require third-party paying services like PayPal or Google Checkout, which makes the app-buying process less streamlined.

Sprint Nextel and Verizon Wireless also offer smartphones with the Google-backed operating system, but T-Mobile is the first major U.S. mobile operator to offer carrier billing. T-Mobile was the first carrier to have an Android phone and it plans to use the Linux-based OS to help it attract high-end customers.

While other carriers also have Android devices, T-Mobile has said it will go "deeper, further, and faster" with the mobile OS in order to stand out from the crowd. The company already offers the most Android smartphones, and it plans to introduce home phones and tablet computers with the Google-backed OS next year.

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