Optus Are Blocking Paid Android Apps

Now that Telstra's trying to fix its public image, is Optus trying to fill the role of telco villain? Neerav Bhatt over at APC magazine reveals that Optus – no stranger to criticism over its handling of Android – is actually blocking people purchasing paid applications for Android phones on their network.

While this has always been the case for HTC Dream owners, it's also an issue for anyone picking up the new HTC Hero or Tattoo unlocked who think that sticking an Optus SIM card will give them access to all the features of Android and the Android marketplace.

This is extremely poor form from Optus. APC reckon it's likely that Optus are refusing access because they want a slice of the paid apps pie, which does make sense, although it doesn't really explain the lethargy on the Telco's part for rolling out firmware updates. The other option is that they want to put all their effort behind their own app store, which will reportedly sell Android apps.

In any case, if you do pick up an unlocked Android phone, best not to go with Optus. Well, not unless you're happy trying to install custom Android firmware, which APC details in their story...

[APC Mag]



    Open Source and yet more locked then an iPhone. Crazy.

      Actually, the fact that it is open source is why there are ways around the stupid Optus policy.

      Users have to pay for the handset + the data to download the apps and yet Optus seem to think they are entitled to a share of the app proceeds?
      They might as well ask for a cut every time somebody pays a bill using mobile banking.

      Also Nick, Optus also are the exclusive provider for the Samsung Galaxy and this issue effects customers who have that handset too.


      I think you should do a bit of research before you make a comment like that. Optus is locking the paid apps not HTC and not Google, you might want to check with Apple and ask them if you can please make a sms ringtone on your iPhone (The answer may shock and offend). I love my Hero but sadly I got my iPhone on Optus for free and I couldnt stand how locked down it was so i've moved and for the better. I love the Hero but once again Optus has broken the strong willed.

      I have to say the story is correct. I have an unlocked android phone and i had to use rooted firmware to get around it. It is an optus/optus reseller thing as i use the pennytel sim which uses the Optus network and have the same problem. Throw another sim in and your fine.

    well said Daniel. I suppose even open source isn't immune from greed.


    That is the most ignorant comment ever.

    the phone not being an asshole doesn't stop the telcos from being assholes.

    still beats the iphone where you get 2 layers of assholes!


    Daniel, please refrain from making such silly comments. This issue is only related to Optus. Other providers (at least for now) are ok. For example, based on my own research (unless I am mistaken), sticking a Vodafone sim in an unlocked Hero would give you access to paid apps. I am getting the Hero next week and I am already an existing Vodafone customer so I will try my theory next week but based on news reports I have read, this is only related to Optus.

    So Optus customers will have to hop onto a WiFi network to download Android Apps?

      No mate, the phone network (meaning your YES OPTUS)
      Are saying NO BUDDY!! no paid apps for you.. try to enjoy the free apps until we figure out how to pocket some of the money you plan to spend on paid ones.

      I have a Hero and the market doesn't show any paid apps. There is an App called "marketEnabler" which would allow me to fake Telsta.. but recently it doesn't work.. my phone reboots when I try it.

      Hmmm wonder if Optus did this to me!

      Anyway I guess they force us to go to places that have ripped Apps. On top there are hardly any developers that give alternative methods of purchase such as PayPal. I have a few paid apps but the rest are ripped.. sorry developers.

    Issues like this are what's holding me back from moving to Android. It's a damn shame, it has so much potential but it seems no one can quite understand that and get it 'right'.

    Bring on the Telstra compatible Androids!

    Things aren't looking good for me now that I'm thinking of getting a new phone. Optus have the best plans and coverage for me but their phones seem to now be their limiter (im going WinMo or Android, and WinMo phones seem to be "business only"). Telstra is the plans, and everyone else is the coverage.

    I wonder how much I'm going to be slugged if I shell out money for a carrier free phone. Changes and modifications to limit the phone from the carrier is something I do not want.

    Rooted HTC Dream + MarketEnabler = paid apps for anyone!

    F#ck optus, not having a android phone..yet is it possible just to buy apps on your pc then install them manually onto your phone via usb?

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