If you happen to be a Vodafone subscriber in Europe who are rocking to an Android-powered smartphone, then you are in for a surprise – the carrier will allow you to pay for your apps purchased over at the Android Market via your phone bill. This is the latest move in a game of ‘tactical chess’ with Apple’s App Store by Google, hoping that such a business model might just spur sales on the Android Market. I must say this is ingenious, taking on the ‘buy now, pay later’ concept that has done a great job especially when you see the amount of credit card debt in the world.
Currently, only Android-powered smartphones that were purchased directly from Vodafone online or from its high street shops are eligible for this new payment scheme, but there definitely are plans in the pipeline to extend it to all of the other handsets.
Vodafone intends to encourage app developers to make use of the service so that they are able to sell more software, since there is still a bunch of Android owners who feel that providing their credit card details to a third party is a rather sensitive subject. I do hope there is a cap on the amount one can pay – especially when you consider how kids could rack up an insane amount of apps in a month, much to the paying parent’s chagrin.