Canada to get Samsung Spica and paid Android apps

Rogers is expected to land the Android-powered Samsung Spica, and Canadians could soon get paid apps.

Samsung Spica Samsung

Canadian wireless provider Rogers is prepping for the release of Samsung's latest Google Android handset, the Galaxy Spica. While the carrier hasn't made an official announcement, rumor has it that dummy units are arriving in retail stores across the country. It should be only a few weeks before the carrier unveils the price and available rate plans.

The Galaxy Spica features a 3.2-inch AMOLED touch screen, a 3.2-megapixel camera, 200MB of internal memory, Wi-Fi, GPS, and more. Similar to other recent Samsung handsets, the Spica is powered by an 800MHz processor. The exact version of Android has yet to be confirmed, though it could run Android 2.0.

Although this follows the release of last year's Galaxy, the handset is not a complete step forward in hardware. Though the first handset had 8GB memory and a 5-megapixel camera, the Spica appears to be headed for a low-end price point. The Galaxy is currently available through Bell for $49.95 with a three-year commitment, so I'd expect the Spica to be comparable, if not free.

In a somewhat related note, Canada may soon offer paid applications in the Android Market. Nine months after the Market went online in Canada, Google has listed only free applications in the market. The latest report from Androlib pegs the total number of Android apps at more than 30,000 with approximately 38 percent of them paid. That amounts to more than 12,000 applications not available with more arriving daily.

Wendy Rozeluk, a spokesperson for Google Canada told the Montreal Gazette that the delay is due to a number of factors. "It takes time to bring support to more countries, which is something we are working hard to do," Rozeluk said. She added that Google hopes to make an announcement on the matter this week.

We hope the addition of paid applications ushers in a new batch of developers who may have been reluctant to get started.

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