South Korea has a reputation for being home to some of most ardent smartphone users in existence, and Android devices are supposed to be among the world's most advanced smartphones. It never made much sense, then, that Koreans were only allowed to access free Android apps, and Google's now (mostly) corrected the oversight.
Tim Bray announced on the Android Developers Blog, "As of today, Android Market is open for business to application buyers in the Republic of Korea. . . . We welcome the people of Korea, acknowledged everywhere as one of the world's most-wired societies, to the world of Android."
There's only one small problem. Bray also wrote, "We hope that this will make the outstanding Android devices now available in that nation even more useful and fun." And Matt Brian reported that Android games remain off-limits in Korea due to complications with a rating system.
Still, this development represents a big step forward for Android that's bound to make the mobile operating system significantly more appealing to consumers in Korea. Its market share - and ability to generate revenue - should improve as a result.
It's just too bad for Google that the company didn't make this move earlier, considering that investors caused its stock to fall 6.97 percent the day after a somewhat weak second quarter earnings report.