For the past few months I been trying to push (of course not much success) the issue of the Android Marketplace exclusion from Malaysia. Yea there is so many topics in this very forum about how the phone is broken or not complete without the marketplace. I taught I will highlight what is going on, just so most people will get the idea what is actually happening.
Disclaimer, I am not bashing Google, and other companies just for fun. In fact I hope they can improve for the benefits of all the users.Snippets From Android Help Forum
Thread Title: Android Market in Malaysia
Basically, someone ask when it is available on 6/23/09 and Google's response was they dont support Malaysia.
Thread Title: When will Android Market be available in Malaysia and why is google limiting access to the market so severly?
Here we see, people complaining Google and HTC is pushing the blame to each other, and some even said it is our local government's fault.
Just search around the forum for with the keywords "Malaysia" and you can see tons of speculations about this problems.
Now I will provide the Official Reasoning (or what looks like legit so far) on why this is happening.
First thing is you must understand the Malaysian Handphone market is way different that those from UK and USA, in those two countries when people look to buy a phone they will go their operators (Vodafone, AT&T, Verizon, Rogers, T-Mobile, Orange, etc) to get a discounted phone with a contract (most likely 12-24months). Yes, recently this thread has been getting popular in Malaysia too, thanks to the introduction of Blackberry and Iphone handsets, but majority of the Malaysian public buys Handphones from Handphone shops, and not telcos (Maxis, Digi, Celcom, U-mobile). Basically point is we are opposite of UK and USA. (another reasoning is because we use 100% GSM, hence why we do this, since CDMA technology will ensure you most likely get a phone from your telco)
If you actually talk to Google Employee's they will tell you to get Android Marketplace in Malaysia. both the Phone Maker (In Malaysia's case most-likely HTC or Samsung) and the Telco providing the phone must be part of the OpenHandSet Alliance. ( List of members can be seen here. http://www.openhandsetalliance.com/oha_members.html
Some response I got from Google is saying that the telco I am using is choosing not to include the Android Marketplace with my phone. :stars: Which is confusing since I didnt buy a phone from my Telco (in my case Maxis-My). So basically, if our telcos in Malaysia dont want join OHA, we are screwed not to get Android Marketplace at all. As you can check list of countries where Android Marketplace (Full Free + Paid) is available has both the Phone Maker + Telcos representing them. So now unless anyone here got any idea how to push Maxis, Digi, etc etc to joining the OSA and help to push for Android marketplace we wont be seeing it for a very long long long time. According to Google, they give 30% profits from Paid Apps to the Telco's anyways so I dont see a disadvantage for our local telcos, I mean they are getting more money.
But then we come to another problem, Google expects that the Telco's version of the Android Marketplace must be in a Firmware customized by the Telco itself. Which I doubt any local telco wants to do it. :w So now even I am lost what to do.
Another reason Google Claims is because of Copy-protection, the currect marketplace (paid one) copy-protection can be by-passed by root users using a bug. Basically if your friend buy's a paid app you can take it from him and use it. Which is ironically funny, since almost everyone I know with an Android Phone in Malaysia is currently with custom firmware (rooted) and some even have those paid apps installed free of charge. This supposed to stop the piracy, but it looks like encouraging it.
I just hope this brief explanation helps to highlight what is going on. If you feel I am wrong, please by all means do correct me. I am only repeating what I get from Emails from HTC and Google and also the Android help forums. I myself now being a long time Android Fan/ evangelist am trying desperately to love the operating system but it is getting harder day by day due to Google's way of doing business.
P.S. : Even-Though Android is partially Open-Source (it is not full due to the Apache License for most part), stuff like the Android marketplace is closed-source and belongs to Google. So basically when we install those custom firmwares we are actually doing something illegal. :hyper: (Remember 1 year ago few custom roms was forced to be taken down due to containing GoogleApps)
EDIT: By the way, Malaysia not only one with this problem. Even my friends from Sweden and Finland all having the EXACT same problem as us with the telcos. Specially Finland since they support Nokia there, and dont buy from telcos (unless Iphone of course).
Also, here is something funny, check out this Swedish developer that I know. If you see his topic he opened you will be wondering if Google really cares. http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/Andr...fcd4b4140&hl=en