updated 01:50 pm EDT, Wed June 3, 2009
Sony Ericsson PlayNow Apps
Sony Ericsson at mid-day said it would jump into the mobile app store field by bringing apps to its PlayNow service. Similar to the iPhone's App Store and other services, developers will have to submit apps to Sony Ericsson but can optionally put their apps in a central portal across all 13 countries PlayNow serves. Developers won't be locked into a single operating system, however, and the company plans to offer both Symbian apps for its upcoming phones and Java ME for more limited phones.
To help expansion, the company's entry-level 3G phones will also get the Java platform normally reserved for higher-end models.
How Sony Ericsson will filter content isn't entirely clear but is poised to be more stringent than on some stores. Sony Ericsson says it plans to focus on "high quality" apps that provide an ideal experience on its phones but doesn't say what this will mean or whether content filtering is involved.
A formal launch isn't given a specific date, though the phone designer anticipates an "imminent" release: third-party app submissions start on July 1st through a dedicated page.
The extension of PlayNow for apps marks a further return to active smartphone development for Sony Ericsson, which is finally due to introduce a modern device when the Satio ships late this year. It fell to fifth place in total cellphone market share and has just a fraction the share of companies that are newer in the market, including Apple.