• What Do Samsung's Plans mean for the App World?

    Image via Samsung.com

    Rooted in the belief that competition in the app marketplace is good for everyone, a lot of people are excited this week about Samsung's plan to launch a new mobile application store this month.

    eWeek reports that:

    Samsung's new mobile applications store, due to launch in Europe on Sept. 14 before expanding to 30 countries through 2010, will be available on phones running the Windows Mobile operating system, putting the Samsung Application Store in direct competition with Windows Marketplace for Mobile. Both Microsoft and Samsung will be hoping to take mobile-application market share away from Palm, Apple, RIM and other IT giants that have made substantial gains in the space.
    According to the official word from Samsung, Application Store availability will at first be restricted to Omnia and I8910 HD devices. Omnia and Omnia HD users will just need to upgrade their handsets with the download icon of the app store.

    Initially, the U.K., France and Italy will have approximately 300 native apps at their disposal upon the virtual storefrontís debut. Providing content for the initial offering are Electronic Arts, Gameloft, Handmark, and Capcom, to name a few. From this relatively small first batch, Samsung hopes to push its inventory up to more than 2,000 apps by the end of this year.

    Overall, its been a big summer for Samsung. In July, the company revealed the Application Seller Site portal, where developers and content providers can access, promote, and sell their Symbian and Windows Mobile applications in the app store that will launch in two weeks.

    It appears to me, however, that Samsung's store will relish the opportunity to battle it out with Microsoft's Windows Marketplace for Mobile. Although Samsung will have a jump start, it will still have to overcome being three hundred apps behind the projected initial offering of the Windows Marketplace. Additionally, the competition to recruit developers is also getting hot and heavy, with Microsoft aggressively seeking the cream of the crop.

    Samsung's upcoming store has the potential to directly compete with Microsoft's Windows Marketplace for Mobile, which is slated to open in fall with some 600 applications. Microsoft has already been campaigning to convince developers to create applications for the store, which will debut on the Windows Mobile 6.5.
    For now, the initial emphasis on Windows Mobile handsets illustrates how Samsung may very well be trying to take out what many believe is the weakest link in the smartphone software business.

    This could get interesting.
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