updated 01:15 pm EST, Thu December 11, 2008
Android Market ringtones
Google may begin offering downloadable ringtones and wallpapers for the T-Mobile G1 smartphone, according to a Wednesday report. Two icons revealed when unzipping the Market.apk file on the T-Mobile G1 hints at the possibility of Google selling ringtones and wallpapers via the Android Market. Nothing is official and Google has not made any mention of offering either ringtones nor wallpapers, and the icons are hidden in the drawable folder under res, called ringtones.png and wallpapers.png. If the ringtones and wallpapers icons are put to use by Google, their content will most likely be governed by carriers who will charge users for each download, as is the case in many current set-ups.
A Google Checkout icon was also found in the Market.apk application, which is another indicator Android Market is getting ready to offer sales. Similar to the iPhone's App Store application, the Google Checkout set-up charges merchants for every purchase performed through it. If Google keeps the same pricing scheme as it has for its existing Google Adwords online searches, it would charge app developers approximately 22 percent of the revenue (2 percent plus $0.20) from every $0.99 item sold, which is less than the 30 percent Apple charges. As the price of the item goes up, the 'consignment' percentages decrease.
For ringtones, Apple charges 99 cents on top of the cost of the track itself. The company doesn't currently offer third-party wallpaper.
Currently, developers of applications such as games and location-based tools for the T-Mobile G1 receive 70 percent of the revenue from each purchase, with the balance going to carriers and bill settlement fees, with Google reportedly not taking any money. [via Phandroid]