Google has lost an appeal in a Taiwanese court. The company was told by the local regulatory authorities to offer a seven day return period for the paid apps on the app store.
Apple and Microsoft comply with this local regulation on their mobile app stores. Google does not seem to be interested in complying.
The company is just offering the free apps for a while now. They were also fined around $34,000 by the courts for not complying with the regulations originally.
Google has not revealed what they plan to do now. Taiwan is of course a big market for Google Android as it is the home of HTC. There are methods available to Android users in the country (and elsewhere) to install paid apps from other sources. But this is not good for the local development community.
One of the primary reasons behind Google’s decision is that seven day time period is simply too much for most mobile apps. Games can be easily finished in this time period. Other apps might have a short duration utility. This means that the users would simply be able to use the paid apps for a week and then seek a refund.
Windows Phone and Apple iPhone are fairly locked compared to Android devices. Installing apps outside the official mobile app store is not easy. They are complying with the regulations despite facing similar probabilities.
Google originally offered a pretty decent time period for refund. It was later reduced to just 15 minutes after the problems with excessive refunds became very apparent.