One of Android Market's biggest shortcomings compared to the iOS App Store is that paid apps are available in only a handful of countries compared to this much more impressive list of countries iOS supports.

Google needs to change this situation, and if they want to make Android just as appealing to developers as iOS is, they need to do it now. The more markets with paid apps supported, the more potential customers, the more appeal.

So yesterday's announcement of Google flipping the switch on paid apps in South Korea, the home of Samsung that makes the Galaxy S series phones, was definitely welcomed by us. As a result, South Koreans now have access to over 70,000 apps in the Android Market. As you can imagine, they’re thrilled.

And, at the rate that Samsung is selling the Galaxy S there, at over 300,000 devices in just 19 days, developers should be seeing a nice surge in app purchasing on the market. Perhaps those of you who have authored apps can take a look at your stats and let us know if there is a spike?

Google released the following statement on its Android Developers’ Blog:

“As of today, Android Market is open for business to application buyers in the Republic of Korea. We hope that this will make the outstanding Android devices now available in that nation even more useful and fun. We welcome the people of Korea, acknowledged everywhere as one of the world’s most-wired societies, to the world of Android.”

It should be noted, however, that games are still not downloadable in South Korea pending a resolution of a rating system as required by law. Until then, Android users will have to make due with everything else in the Market.

As I mentioned before, paid apps in the Market are still not available to a whole host of nations worldwide. Currently, the only nations where paid apps are available include:

  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Canada
  • France
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • South Korea (new)
  • Spain
  • Switzerland
  • United Kingdom
  • United States

Considering how short this list is, South Korea should consider itself quite lucky.

Source: Android Developers Blog