Last Updated: August 23rd, 2012

Two weeks ago, Google announced a series of expansions to carrier billing options for Play Store Apps, Movies, Books, and Music on various carriers. While some changes went into effect immediately, Sprint, which already allowed direct billing for apps, was one carrier that was listed as "coming soon."

As of today, all three additional options are available to Sprint customers: books, music, and movies. Not surprisingly, carrier billing is the default option since it's by far the cheapest to carriers and Google as they get to bypass credit card fees. While this addition doesn't benefit everyone, I can see a few handy uses for carrier billing:

  • you don't own a credit card at all
  • you don't want to add a credit card to your Wallet account for some reason, be it security, paranoia, or a medical condition that prevents you from typing 16 digits in a row (also known as laziness)
  • you don't want to pollute your credit card statement with multiple charges
  • you don't want your significant others with access to your credit card statement to see what you're doing

Enjoy, Sprinters!

Verizon folks, on the other hand, you're out of luck - Big Red is the only major U.S. carrier that hasn't announced plans for carrier billing yet.

wm_SC20120516-130045 wm_SC20120516-130118 wm_SC20120516-130102

[+Google Play]

Artem Russakovskii
Artem is a die-hard Android fan, passionate tech blogger, obsessive-compulsive editor, bug hunting programmer, and the founder of Android Police.
Most of the time, you will find Artem either hacking away at code or thinking of the next 15 blog posts.

  • kees

    MORE PAYMENT OPTIONS GOOGLE... geez do something right for a change.....

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1189626634 Chris Tilton

    How about adding more US carriers other than sprint? What does maybe 1% of americans use sprint how about a carrier like vzw getting carrier billing

    • Josh C

      i think carriers are the ones lagging behind when it comes to this feature, like most things. I think Sprint has always been willing to work with Google on things like this, just like with Google Voice integration.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Blame vzw for that. And no, sprint is #3 in the US, far above 1%.

  • Shaun Hall

    so ummm..  I'm still waiting on Google Play gift cards..  I don't understand why Google hasn't jumped on this money making bandwagon.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/7GU4N7CVDBJXMZOBFO3DMIQZH4 J

    Is there a reason Sprint & Google are so buddy-buddy?  First number porting, then MMSs-ing with Google Voice, and now carrier billing?  I would have kind of expected Verizon to play with Google the most, since they had been touting the Droid line as their flagship devices while AT&T went with Apple & iPhone.

    If they keep playing nice & especially if they keep unlimited data...  I could possibly be convinced to switch over to them when Verizon kills my unlimited data (assuming I can get decent service with them here)...

  • PaulAtreides

    I am the 1%, and this works great for me. Also, I smell a Nexus tablet cooking and it's almost done!

  • Robert Oliveira

    OMG. This might actually be good news if Sprint's 3G network wasn't so anemic. I'm getting, at best, between 0.01 Mbps to 0.24 Mbps on the download, with a one time burst to just over 1.0 Mbps. No music downloads for me over 3G. :(

  • Kurt Wurmser

    Sprint and Google have been buddy buddy for a while.  Sprint is much smaller than AT&T or Verizon; they have more reason to cooperate with Google.  They didn't have an iPhone for a very long time.  And for a while at least, it looked like T-mobile was going to be gobbled up by AT&T.  So buddying up to Google seems like a pretty sensible thing to do. 

  • Charflan81

    Great idea, Any news on whether the rest of the world gets this option.?

  • Andrew

    Hoping this sort of thing moves beyond the US at some point, would love to have it here in the UK!

  • Ezee

    Is this option only available on the handset or can it be used from a computer as well?

  • Dagmar Schneitz

    Finally, Sprint is doing something right!

  • Iggy

    Good deal....now if they could only fix the payment authorization issue!  Not sure if anyone else has this problem, but the ONLY way for me to actually use the Sprint billing feature is to turn off Wi-Fi, and use 3G (NOT 4g) for the authorization/payment portion of the transaction.  Once completed, I then have to turn off 3G, and then turn back on my Wi-Fi to download the actual app.

    According to Sprint, the phone needs to be on the network so that Sprint knows its your phone and not someone else's account to debit....such BS.....