Settle down, Canadians; Google is the one holding up your paid apps

December 28, 2009 | by Andrew Kameka


Settle down, Canadians; Google is the one holding up your paid apps

Canadian Android fans have much to be angry about, but they may want to redirect some of that anger to its rightful place – Google. Though many Android fans have blamed Rogers for the lack of paid apps in Canada, Rogers has virtually no control over when paid apps will be available to its subscribers. The ball rests squarely in Google’s court.

Androinica readers frequently complain about being able to access only free applications in Canada, but Rogers isn’t to blame for that shortcoming. I have asked Rogers and Telus why they haven’t delivered paid apps to their subscribers and each gave me the same reply: That’s up to Google.

A Rogers Community Member, responding to a question sparked by another customer controversy, said that Google must enable paid apps in Canada. I asked Telus why their customers have only free apps and a PR rep responded, “Telus isn’t blocking anything from a carrier’s perspective,” before echoing the statement that Google holds all the cards.

After a bit of prodding, I was finally able to find a Google spokesperson willing to comment on this issue. Unfortunately, Google will not provide a timeline for when Canadians will get paid apps and they will not reveal exactly what is causing the hold-up.

Android Market connects users and developers worldwide. When we add paid apps support for developers in a new country, we enable them to sell apps in many different countries. Similarly, when we add support for users, they’re able to purchase apps from developers in many different countries. As such, there are many factors that come into play to make sure the selling and purchasing processes run smoothly. It takes time to bring support to more countries, which is something we are working hard to do.

Long story short: Canadians will do some more kicking and screaming for the foreseeable future. I can understand that frustration, especially since Japan got paid apps within a few months of the first Android phone being available in that country. By comparison, Canadians have waited half of 2009 for that privilidge and still have no clue when – or if – they’ll see paid apps in 2010. That’s an additional slap in the face to people already ticked off by the lack of updates to their phones.

These are the only countries with access to paid apps:

New Zealand
United Kingdom
United States