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Google Exec Shines Light On Android Market

The Android Market will offer free trial versions, and Google won't take a cut of the revenue from any sold app, according to director of mobile platforms Andy Rubin.
With the announcement of the G1 by Google, HTC, and T-Mobile, it's only a matter of weeks before the Android platform is unleashed.

The open source mobile OS is drawing interest from consumers, and mobile applications in the Android Market are expected to be a major driver of adoption. Andy Rubin, Google's director of mobile platforms, recently spoke about his vision for the Android Market.

"We want the next killer application to be written for cell phones, not the Internet," Rubin told BusinessWeek.

Google may be facing a battle for developer mindshare, as Apple's App Store has proven to be highly lucrative for some content creators. To combat this, Rubin said the Android Market will offer the ability to offer free trials of apps before customers have to buy them. Apple doesn't officially allow this, but many developers get around this by offering "Lite" or stripped-down versions of the apps.

Additionally, developers may be drawn to the open nature of the Android Market, which will not be as restrictive as Apple's offerings. Apple has recently made moves to ease growing frustration with developers.

While the Android Market will only initially allow free apps in the store when the G1 launches, paid apps will eventually be offered and Google will not be taking a cut of the revenue. By contrast, Apple takes a 30% share of any app sold in its store.

Being the new kid on the block may prove to be a challenge for Android Market, as it won't just be competing with the App Store. The Symbian, Windows Mobile, and BlackBerry platforms all have strong developer communities with thousands of available apps.