updated 07:05 pm EDT, Fri August 8, 2008
T-Mobile wants App Store
T-Mobile USA is reportedly examining an iTunes App Store-like service for its entire product line, rather than simply shipping the phones as-is, with few custom apps, and leaving the user to explore unofficial app loading solutions. One developer observed that Apple's method has translated into a great success for the company, and infers that T-Mobile hopes to benefit from translating that success to a carrier's entire product line. T-Mobile currently reaches 31.5 million customers, versus Apple's hope to sell 10 million iPhones by the year's end.
Loose plans have been revealed, with revenue sharing being dependent on how much a given app uses the network. An application that fetches video or audio streams across T-Mobile's cell network would use significantly more data than an app that resides solely on the device, for example. Sorting and presentation are decided by popularity, rather than T-Mobile's preference. Allegedly, the service will not stop at just a particular OS, and will be compatible with Android, Java, Sidekick, and Windows Mobile.
The move comes in response to increased competition from AT&T and Verizon Wireless, both of which have expressed interest in opening their networks, and also have offered 3G service long before T-Mobile. Some view this as a necessary step for T-Mobile, since its net subscriber additions for its second quarter dropped 22.1-percent from a year ago.