T-Mobile's App Store Coming, Won't Include Android - InformationWeek

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9/12/2008
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T-Mobile's App Store Coming, Won't Include Android

While the new store presents many opportunities for developers and customers, it will be more restrictive than similar offerings from Google and Apple.

T-Mobile officials confirmed the existence of its own application store at the CTIA trade show Thursday, and said the download site will appear before the end of the year.

While the new store presents many opportunities for developers and customers, it will be more restrictive than similar offerings from Google and Apple.

T-Mobile's app store was originally thought to cover the full range of the company's devices, but officials said it won't be available for its Sidekick phones or Android operating system-powered handsets. Android users will have their own Google-hosted Android Market to search for and download mobile programs.

The carrier said it will make it easier for users to access the application store. For higher-end handsets this will involve a mobile Web portal, and lower-end phones will get a dedicated application. All programs will have to be approved by T-Mobile, but the company said the process will be speedy and transparent.

To get into the store, developers need to sign up for the company's devPartner program, and the developer agreement will be available next week. The carrier will provide demo handsets as well as a virtual lab, reps said.

In terms of a revenue split, the terms start at 50-50, but those can change to 70-30 in the developer's favor, depending on how many phones the app supports and how much customer support the content creator will supply. By contrast, Apple takes a 30% cut from all programs that are sold from its App Store but does not collect for free applications.

Developers will be able to offer their own free apps in T-Mobile's store, but these cannot include advertising, the carrier said. Additionally, developers offering high-bandwidth apps like music streaming will be charged by the carrier to use the network.

The developers won't have access to deep hardware or software features -- like the camera or myFaves -- initially, but officials said that could gradually change.

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