updated 11:50 am EDT, Mon August 31, 2009
Samsung App Store
Samsung on Monday chased after the market by providing details of the Samsung Application Store, its own mobile software service. The portal will have its own native client and will have unspecified "content guidelines" to filter which apps reach the store. Just 300 apps will be available on launch and will focus primarily on games from Capcom, EA, Gameloft and others, although Samsung will have apps from Handmark.
About 2,000 apps should reach the store by the end of the year, Samsung said.
The Application Store will also initially be targeted only at the company's high-end smartphones, including the Omnia, i8910 (Omnia HD), Omnia II and Omnia Lite. However, Samsung plans to offer both free and paid apps from the outset and will let customers not only get buy separately from their carriers but tie their purchases to their regular phone bills.
Although the site exists today, the store won't be active until September 14th and will focus on France, Italy and the UK at first. Over 30 countries should be added in following months, which may include the US as the Omnia II is slated to ship with Verizon.
While an evident reaction to the success of the iPhone's App Store, Samsung's own feature may be an important factor in its mobile strategy. While the Korean company is the fastest-growing major phone designer in the world, most of its sales are based on simple conventional phones. Its Windows Mobile sales are generally eclipsed by those from HTC, while Nokia is much more popular for Symbian-based devices. The fastest-moving smartphone makers have usually been Apple and RIM, who alternately got into self-run app sales early or else who already had third-party support.
Samsung's gateway may all the same face competition from other stores, particularly Microsoft's own Windows Marketplace for Mobile on Windows Mobile-using handsets.