big_brotherIt’s time for this weekend’s reader feedback and it’s a pretty hot topic.

What’s your thought getting different Android Market results based on your carrier?  Does it matter to you?  Is it something you want to worry about when picking providers?   Further, should carriers even be allowed to place restrictions on the market?

Note: Select outbound links may include affiliate tracking codes and AndroidGuys may receive compensation for purchases. Read our policy. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.


  1. Carriers should certainly be allowed to place whatever restrictions they want on available apps, as the not having the power to do so will likely mean that they do not want android devices on their networks. Less Android devices in circulation results in less developers developing great apps for Android. This however should not end up having much of an impact on me as an end user as there are other ways of getting apps onto your phone than the built in app market. The end user could always use something like ” target=”_blank”> to search for apps and then download them from either the developers website or some other service that hosts android apps. T-mobile is not going to be able to stop people from putting those apps on an android powered device, only stop them from appearing in the market. And honestly, I would prefer that T-mobile makes it a little bit more difficult for everyone and their brother to tether their G1 to their laptop. Their 3G network is new and it still dosn't have the capacity that other providers offer.

  2. My thoughts: Keeping with the spirit of open nature of Android, the Market shouldn't differentiate based of carrier and location. But Carriers would want to have the restrictions on. So to keep the OHA happy, google would likely comply with the restrictions. Thus ideally the Android Market should move out of control of google, even if that means taking a small cut from the sales of apps to cover the administrative expenses. The market can still use the Google Checkout. Now that few Netbooks are slated to come loaded with Android, it would also make sense to make the market available through any device/desktop.

  3. Letting carriers restrict what is available in the Android Market for their subscribers would seriously confuse customers and could alienate a big portion outright. Think about it this way: a person sees a cool app (advertisement, maybe trying friends phone) and decides to buy an Android device. Imagine their confusion and frustration if they can't find the software in the Market. They may not even be able to figure out why (their carrier restriction). If carrier specific limitations are necessary, then you need carrier specific markets that are clearly different from the Android Market (for example, the carrier name should be included in the name and the words Android and Market should probably not). You would also complicate things from developers point of view. If the carrier marketplaces are completely separate from Android Market, then the developers need to upload their apps to all the carrier marketplaces they want to participate with. If the carrier specific markets can pull from Android Market, developers need to be able to decide which carriers can get their apps (default could be all), and need to be able to track how many purchases come via which carrier, and so on. All in all it seems like a mess is there is not a single unified market.

  4. In Sweden, carrier's are of very little importance. Sure, some offer better reception and are cheaper than others, so we choose freely and simply pick the one that fits our needs. All mobiles here can be purchased unlocked, which is less expensive in the end and that's the way it should be I think. I would be very frustrated if a carrier meddled with a phone, its software availability or put on any kind of restrictions. I just need them to provide a way for me to call with my phone and use the 3G-connection, nothing else. So when I read about carriers in the US even making demands about the design of upcoming handsets – that sounds very foreign to me and a bit power-crazy. Let the cell-phone manufacturers do their job, and stick to providing a way to get a reception. At least that's the way I like it. When I buy a new device, I just transfer my SIM-card from my old phone and start rocking. That has pretty much been standard in Sweden since '98. And if you want a new number, get another SIM-card.

  5. In India 99.5 % Handset sold is Open Market. and Bulding of Phone with Service come only with Cheaper Chinease Phone which dont Impact too much. So Carrier Specfic Restriction neither works hear.

  6. Forgive me if I'm off base here but the OHA said they're committed to an "open and free" mobile platform. Carrier restrictions doesn't sound open to me. I know the idea may not be for carrier openness but I think the whole idea is a farce if you don't commit to openness. "Welcome to the Open Handset Alliance™, a group of 47 technology and mobile companies who have come together to accelerate innovation in mobile and offer consumers a richer, less expensive, and better mobile experience. Together we have developed Android™, the first complete, —-open, and free— mobile platform."

  7. "Forgive me if I'm off base here but the OHA said they're committed to an "open and free" mobile platform. Carrier restrictions doesn't sound open to me." You'll notice that you can still freely download and install the application on any G1 without going through the Market. That didn't happen by accident. Given that you can still find and install these applications as easily as you can on a desktop PC (just not as easily as with the Market), it seems to me hard to argue that it is not open.

  8. @Moxy – I'm with you, I decided to get a G1, knowing that it was in its infancy, because I hate the horrendously restrictive way that apple are running the iPhone/iPod. It seems that the open handset alliance are now heading more towards Animal Farm and not 1984 (to take the theme from the pic!) In that all carriers are created equal, but some are more equal than others. I think the 3G network is a bit more robust here in the UK but tmob do offer a seperate unlimited plan for tethering, as well as having a mobile broadband branch. In fact I had a call from tmob broadband the other week and when I mentioned that I had a G1 the sales guy just said "Oh, well you'll nat need it then" and left me alone. So this seems to be protectionism from tmob US atm, but when more carriers get involved and more people get Android I think they'll have to come out of their bunker. Because if they don't then they're going to lose customers like there's no tomorrow…

  9. Carriers have a terrible history of managing "markets". Sony-Ericssons "market" for symbian apps contains like 5 crappy applications. Don't let the carriers destroy the usefulness of the android platform. Executives of the carrier will believe that the more they cripple the market, the more they can profit, it's how they have done it before.

  10. Well, lets see andriod show up somewhere besides T-mobile first, lol.. then we can see what the carrier does.

  11. Well, the die has been cast. Google has implemented carrier-specific targeting in the Android Market.

    I for one am very worried that this will only add to the fragmentation which is the result of country and language targeting already in place.
    Please keep Android as open and accessible as possible and don't bow too much to carrier demands and market segmentation. These things are so twentieth-century.

Comments are closed.