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Papaya Mobile, a Chinese social game maker with more than 3 million users, will support Zong’s one-click payment system, which enables users to buy virtual goods and currency and have their purchases added to their carrier bill. Papaya Mobile said developers who use its virtual currency system will also be able to utilize Billing Revolution for one-click credit card purchases.
The Zong announcement opens a new era for Android developers, who have been waiting for in-app purchase solutions. It’s been one of the reasons why some developers have been slow to write for Android because it was harder to monetize than the iPhone, which has had in-app purchases for more than a year.
This appears to be the first of several options on the way. We wrote back in June about Zong and Boku both trialing in-app payment purchase systems for Android. PayPay (s ebay) also announced earlier this year it would support in-app purchases for Android and was reportedly also in talks with Google to become an alternative payment system for Android Market. Combined with Google’s moves to expand the number of countries whose consumers can purchase Android Apps, and the pieces are falling into place for more dollars for Android developers.
Android Market has grown to 90,000 apps, with more than half of them free, which is sort of fitting for Android’s open source roots. But as Android looks to compete with the iPhone (s aapl), RIM (s rimm) and come-back candidate Windows Phone 7 (s msft), it needs to expand its developer base by accommodating app makers who want to make money from their apps. The deal with Zong is the first of many that should get Google to this goal.
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Post and thumbnail photos courtesy of Flickr user Marcin Wichary