The choice of name says it all: Android Market, not Android Store.
By design, Google is preparing the equivalent of an open-air marketplace for applications that will run on Android-powered smartphones. Google, which announced the Market late this afternoon through its Android developer blog, believes that developers should have an “open and unobstructed environment to make their content available.”
It’s a stark contrast to Apple’s App Store, where developers must submit applications for approval before release. The process has miffed many developers because their iPhone and iPod touch programs may take days, or weeks, before they show up for sale in the App Store.
Like a market or bazaar, Android developers can show up, set up shop, and sell their wares hassle free. Developers can submit applications to the Market using three steps: register as a merchant, upload and describe the content, and publish it.
No word, however, on the business or quality control side of the equation. Currently, Apple splits revenue 30/70 with developers. mocoNews.net says T-Mobile, the expected U.S. carrier, plans to base its revenue split on how much bandwidth the application uses.
The first Android-powered phone will be manufactured by HTC and is slated for release later this year. The first handsets will carry a beta version of the Android Market, with an update expected soon after the launch that will support downloads of paid content and additional features such as versioning, multiple device profile support, and analytics.
With the announcement of the Android Market and the imminent release of the first Android phone, Google’s mobile platform/ecosystem is no longer speculation. As we’ve expected all along, whatever Apple does with the iPhone, Google will do the opposite with Android.