Android Market Now Shows Localized Pricing On Handsets

Last week there has been a lot of attention on Google expanding the supported countries for Android Market. Especially the addition of more countries for paid applications is good news for developers. Now Google is making more changes to Android Market.

Until now, the currency of paid applications was based on the currency of the developers home country. Developers from the United Kingdom offered their apps in GBP, the United States in USD, etcetera. This currency would then be displayed to all Android Market consumers, regardless of their home country. This meant that a user in for example the UK would view apps in EUR, GBP, USD, and JPY in the store. This has now changed.

Local currencies for consumers

Today, we noticed that Google is displaying application prices in the home currency of the consumer. See for example this picture made at our office in The Netherlands:

Android Market paid apps in NL

Three things can be noticed from this:

  1. Android Market now displays all apps in the consumers’ local currency.
  2. There is a “~” sign before a selection of the prices, meaning that Google is converting the prices to the consumer’s currency, based on the price point set by the developer in his own local currency.
  3. Applications that do not have the “~” sign in front of the price, have the same home currency for both the developer and consumer, thus there’s no need for conversion.

Currencies and price points for developers

Looking at the Android Market developer console, 12 different currencies are now available as home currencies to the developer. Google lets a developer set a price point in his own local currency only. Looking at the available price ranges for developers, you can see that developers in Europe can start pricing their apps from €0.50, where for a US developer, the cheapest option is $0.99. If you convert this using todays exchange rate, a developer in Europe can start selling apps from $0.69 USD, compared to the $0.99 USD starting point for a US developer.

Available price points and currencies

Billing to consumers

To test how Google now bills the consumer upon purchasing an app, we just purchased Swiftkey Keyboard. This app is available for ~€2.91 in the Dutch Android Market (see picture above). When going through checkout, this is what we see:

Purchasing paid app in NL

So despite the fact that this application was displayed to the consumer in EUR currency, the final price is based on the developers’ home currency, which Google converts in checkout.

Google is making big steps now to improve the consumer reach of Android Market for both paid and free apps. This last change is definitely useful for consumers, since they can now view application prices, in their own currency. We will be monitoring how these changes affect the pricing levels and uptake paid content in all new Market countries.

Vincent Hoogsteder