Carrier marketplace billing to become more common in 2011

With modern smartphones having integrated application stores, the hardest thing about the application purchasing process has become the payment itself. Well, at least for some consumers (i.e. those without credit cards). But the makers of these smartphones, along with the carriers that sell and service them, have come up with an simple solution to ensure that everyone can buy applications with minimal fuss.

Expect to see your carrier as a billing option in your devices marketplace in 2011.

Google and AT&T made headlines a few weeks ago when an option to "Bill my AT&T account" appeared in the Android Market. Other carriers have similar arrangements, such as Australia's Telstra network, which allows customers to bill Windows Phone 7 marketplace purchases to their accounts. Now Neowin has word that a host of carriers are working with major smartphone makers to implement this billing system for everyone.  The theory is that by making application purchasing easier, more people will buy applications – with both the carrier and store owner (Google, Microsoft, Nokia, Blackberry) taking cuts of purchases. Carriers also benefit from the higher data usage that would result.

The question is, will Apple come on board? We can't say for sure, but it's safe to say that Apple won’t be rushing into a system that sees them receiving reduced profits from their highly successful App Store. That being said, if this billing idea works as everyone's hoping it will – Apple may find they have no choice, as the prospect of massively increased sales is hard to resist.

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david said,
It's actually called the "Market" and not "Marketplace." Marketplace is for Windows Phone.
Hi David, thanks for your feedback. However, in this case we're referring to 'marketplaces' as a whole - not just Android or Windows Phone 7.

As long as they don't take their "cut" away from what the developer is supposed to get, sounds like a good idea. Otherwise, it's going to scare developers - who already feel that the pay model on Android doesn't work - back onto other platforms.

Simon said,
As long as they don't take their "cut" away from what the developer is supposed to get, sounds like a good idea. Otherwise, it's going to scare developers - who already feel that the pay model on Android doesn't work - back onto other platforms.

Pay model doesn't work on droid, they need to improve it to see improved apps!

This will potentially hurt a lot of people. Now parents will give their kids phones and those kids will blindly bill their parents into debt and potentially have the service canceled if they can't pay the bill. Now its not just kids, I've seen a lot of dumb account holders also.

Now if carrier Billing was an opt-in service then doing something like this would make sense. But its not (at least for AT&T). All lines on the account are automatically allowed to bill the account holder. There is not even a password that is required to bill something to the account. If you don't want that, you have to call AT&T and ask them to place a Purchase Blocker on each line you don't want to have that ability. And most people do not know that when they set up an account.

PsyOpWarlord said,
This will potentially hurt a lot of people. Now parents will give their kids phones and those kids will blindly bill their parents into debt and potentially have the service canceled if they can't pay the bill. Now its not just kids, I've seen a lot of dumb account holders also.

Well it's not 2004 anymore. There were several debacles involving text-message crazed teens/tweens sending way too many text messages that overloaded onto the bill, but not much news about that in the past 2 years. I think carriers wouldn't be stupid enough to put some type of limits (they already have to deal with other ppl not paying up their regular bills, why add on?), plus with the recession and all, it has taught a lot more people to be thrifty and of course they're less likely to spend wildly on apps and such without considering that the money does have to be paid.

There probably might be a few people that might still be dumb and go beyond the means, but certainly not "a lot of people" as some may assume.

You have to wonder? more charges? i.e will the carrier be adding its % to the bills. % to the app creator % to google % to carrier????

Pete G said,
You have to wonder? more charges? i.e will the carrier be adding its % to the bills. % to the app creator % to google % to carrier????

I did notice it showing tax...has that always been there? I was unaware (though have not purchased a app for over a year) if this is new or common. If new, then wow your right, what else will show up. And tax is usually different where you live. Maybe it makes no difference. We will see I guess.

lovely feature for buyer, awful feature for carrier.. now you'll get idiots running up HUGEE bills, we'll see more contracts being abandoned and people in debt not being able to pay

Uplift said,
lovely feature for buyer, awful feature for carrier.. now you'll get idiots running up HUGEE bills, we'll see more contracts being abandoned and people in debt not being able to pay

I'm sure there are limits in place to prevent that from happening

Yeah because people running up huge bills on credit and then bailing is a new thing ROFL @Uplift, not to worry, the suits that plan and implement these ideas are full aware of the dine-and-dash types and the possible losses.

This is a great idea! It's like Comcast's On-demand for my phone. Perfect. Just give me one place to pay for those little nickel and dime purchases instead of yet another vendor (the Android Market) that needs my billing info.

I'd like to be able to handle my bill this way.

And having said that, I'll probably end up finding out I already can and didn't know it. LOL