Google (NSDQ: GOOG) shared its plans today for how it will distribute applications mobile phones running its Android operating system, and it sounds startlingly similar to Apple’s (NSDQ: AAPL) App store. Google wrote today on the Android developer blog that it will be called Android Market, “an open content distribution system that will help end users find, purchase, download and install various types of content on their Android-powered devices.”
Of course, the marketplace is designed to solve a critical problem that developers face — getting in front of the consumer. It will work like this: Google will make the content available on an open service hosted by Google, and create a feedback and rating system similar to YouTube. To get your content in the market, developers will have to follow three steps: register as a merchant, upload and describe content, then publish it. On the issue of calling it a “market” instead of a “store”, Google took a jab at Apple by explaining: “we feel that developers should have an open and unobstructed environment to make their content available.” Google also said it will provide developers with an analytic dashboard to track how their app is doing.
On the business side of the house, details are foggy. Google said that the first phones will have a beta version of Android market, and at the minimum, it will support free applications. After launch, Google will work towards adding paid content and more features, such as being able to upload a new version of the application. But who knows what kind of revenue splits we are talking about. Currently, Apple splits revenues 30/70 with the developer, and T-Mobile USA, which is expected to launch a store soon, plans to base its revenue split on how much bandwidth the application uses.