Dec 22 AT 6:26 PM Taylor Wimberly 8 Comments

AT&T gains direct carrier billing option for the Android Market

Customers of AT&T should see a new billing option for Android Market purchases over the coming days. A post on the official Android Developers Blog says that direct carrier billing for AT&T was part of the recent Market update that has been rolling out over the last couple of days.

Carrier billing was actually announced back in July 2009, but T-Mobile has been the only carrier to offer it so far. One carrier insider with knowledge of the situation told me that Google gave T-Mobile carrier billing first after they agreed to support the Nexus One. T-Mobile added carrier billing in December 2009, which is the month before the Nexus One launched, so his story sounds believable.

Sprint also announced last year that they would support direct carrier billing, but that has yet to happen. We also saw Sprint say they would support the Nexus One and then pulled support at the last moment, so you have to wonder if those moves were tied together.

When it comes to Verizon, we don’t know if they will ever offer carrier billing for the Android Market. Verizon does have that payment option in their V Cast Apps store, but we have heard nothing about them adding it to Google’s Market.

As we move into 2011, look for Google to continue to add new features to the Android Market. We already know that video previews are coming soon and hopefully we see that online storefront early next year.

Source: Android Developers Blog

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • http://Website matt

    i think that carrier billing is a really great feature but couldnt there be an app in the market that is malicious and purcheses all these other apps with out you knowing? i think that this could be like apps that send premium rate text messages without you knowing.

    • http://Website Daniel

      Not really. For sending SMS, you need a specific permission (unfortunately most people install apps without reading the permissions screen, though). For installing Market apps, there’s simply no way at all (save for some as-of-yet unknown security flaw), permission or not. Which is why when apps want you to download something through the Market, they will at best send you to the details screen, they simply can’t start a download for you.

  • http://Website Kevin

    T-mobile has carrier billing??
    (kevin is a slow poke)

  • baldAlbino

    Kudos to AT&T for trying this out. Think its a step in the right direction for carriers to allow consumers the ability to pay right on the bill. Too many people have been asking. Where you at Verizon? Sprint?

  • http://Website Lucian Armasu

    I wonder if the new Market will finally bring that Payapl integration that was rumored.

  • http://Website darcy

    i see it only for 1 dollar on my market
    and i tried to buy it, payment cant go through…
    rogers captivate running 2.1

  • http://Website @neidlinger

    Why is their tax on a software product that is delivered wireless-ly? Just tried it on my phone and it’s a 1.06 for a .99 product…. When did those tax laws change?

  • Andrew Ryan

    Great article on the implementation of direct carrier billing for androids.