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Marketplace Debacle - Who's Really To Blame?

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Journeyman PGR
Journeyman

Marketplace Debacle - Who's Really To Blame?

There has been lots of speculation about why we can't access paid (and paid-for) apps in the marketplace and what is and isn't being done about it and there's been a lot of anger expressed in the discussions about that. And I think the anger is justified, however I also think it's being misdirected. Unfortunately there's been this deafening silence from Sprint, HTC, and Google so I can only speculate some more, but I've seen some pretty compelling facts to base my speculations on:

Google has treated their Android Marketplace like an afterthought or "necessary evil" from the very beginning and it's not getting any better. Now software developers are abandoning the Android platform in droves. One example was pointed out by Reuters recently when they quoted the Finance Director of Gameloft (emphasis mine):

"We have significantly cut our investment in Android platform, just like ... many others," Gameloft finance director Alexandre de Rochefort said at an investor conference. Rochefort said the company has cut back on investment mostly due to weaknesses of Android's application store. "It is not as neatly done as on the iPhone. Google has not been very good to entice customers to actually buy products. On Android nobody is making significant revenue," Rochefort said.

This is but one single example of a widespread and growing theme I've seen in the mainstream media and tech forums and it's snowballing quickly. HTC may play a role in this most recent Marketplace debacle but they're basically victims too when it comes to the big picture. I wouldn't be even slightly surprised to learn that HTC is getting little or no cooperation from Google when it comes to solving this mess.

We Hero owners definitely need to beat the drums and beat them loudly, but I think it would be a big mistake not to focus our primary efforts on Google instead of HTC and Sprint. Google has the biggest investment in the Android OS and they have the most to lose, but they keep shooting themselves in the foot by not giving the entire platform the support it deserves.

And as far as I'm concerned, they can start by letting us browse the entire Android Marketplace from our desktop computers... Right after they fix the existing problem.

But I want to make something perfectly clear: I still hold both Sprint and HTC responsible for leaving us customers in the dark about what is being done to correct the current problem. That is unacceptable behavior and it's only driving more nails in the coffin Google has apparently put it's Android OS in.

Pete

9 REPLIES 9
Sprint Product Ambassador

Re: Marketplace Debacle - Who's Really To Blame?

Thanks for the post - there's been deafening silence from Sarah and I because we don't have even an unclear answer at this point. 

When we get relevant information, we'll post.

I understand and appreciate your concern - I am personally impacted by this too, so I want an answer as soon as possible.

Product Ambassador, long time Sprint employee
Journeyman

Re: Marketplace Debacle - Who's Really To Blame?

Great post. Personally I'm more so upset with HTC and there statement to multiple customers that this is not their issue. If that is the kind of responses that i can expect from them, it shows me that they do not take responsibility for their own products, as this is happening on the Eris and Hero. HTC is a great company when it comes to making cellular devices, but with an attitude like that I hope that they know I will easily re-activate my Palm Pre and use it or buy other devices that are not made by them. I refuse to give my money to a company that does not offer better solutions to customers than 'you're on your own, sorry'.

Journeyman

Re: Marketplace Debacle - Who's Really To Blame?

Don't be upset with HTC, it's not their problem. It's Sprint and Google.

Sprint Product Ambassador

Re: Marketplace Debacle - Who's Really To Blame?

Well, HTC controls the OS software on the phone; Google controls the marketplace.

Sprint provides the network.

As I understand, the Google Market doesn't like the HTC software version ID (or something like that).

Nothing to do with the network.

Same problem has cropped up with the HTC Eris, on Verizon.

We're looking into it and when we have information from HTC or Google to share, we will.

Thanks,

Will

Product Ambassador, long time Sprint employee
Wizard

Re: Marketplace Debacle - Who's Really To Blame?

Its not only paid apps that are gone.  Calorie Counter is gone as well, that's a freebie and a good one.

Journeyman

Re: Marketplace Debacle - Who's Really To Blame?

wengla02 wrote:

Well, HTC controls the OS software on the phone; Google controls the marketplace.

Sprint provides the network.

As I understand, the Google Market doesn't like the HTC software version ID (or something like that).

Nothing to do with the network.

Same problem has cropped up with the HTC Eris, on Verizon.

We're looking into it and when we have information from HTC or Google to share, we will.

Thanks,

Will

Thanks for looking into it, Will.

Journeyman

Re: Marketplace Debacle - Who's Really To Blame?

The issue, from what I've read elsewhere in the Sprint forums and other internet sources, is caused by "Copy Protected" flags in the manifest.xml file of the applications. This coinsides with the DeviceID set by HTC. This means that any application, whether free or paid, that uses this flag set by the app developers is subject to this bug. I'm not sure why a "copy protection" flag would be set on a free application, but whatever... (=

What's really not understood, is whether HTC made a mistake in the core OS or whether HTC coded correctly, but the Market is confused in some shape by HTC's change. I dont know.

I honestly hope it's the Market as I'm thinking the fix can be made on the backed (Google) without having any OTA updates applied!

Journeyman

Re: Marketplace Debacle - Who's Really To Blame?

To tell you the truth, I believe they all to blame!!! The lack of communication and lack of any of the 3 companies taking ownership speaks volumes.

Journeyman

Re: Marketplace Debacle - Who's Really To Blame?

I guess someone took me seriouly when I said some else would be broken after the MR...  What makes this especially bad for me is that I own two apps that I now can't access.  I understand that some will say all I need to do is factory reset or root the phone, but I shouldn't have to.  Does anyone in the Axis (HTC / Sprint / Google) have a clue if or when this might be fixed?

Fubie

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