Open Up! T-Mobile Readying Their Version of Any App, Any Handset

T-Mobile USA is gearing up to offer their own version of the App Store. Rather than offering programs for one device only, T-Mobile is making it so that developers can create one program that can span the entire product line. This would mean that you’d see the same applications available for Samsung, Motorola, and the Sidekick. Yep, even the HTC “Dream” phone

Yes, we know that Android is coming out in a few months and that T-Mobile will be carrying it. But did you expect to see applications available for the HTC phone that would also work on the BlackBerry Curve and T-Mobile Shadow? We didn’t think so.

It’s a truly innovative and forward thinking business model for a carrier – especially one in the US. This also gives the recent news that T-Mobile partnering with Device Anywhere a little bit more weight. It’s just a puzzle piece in the big scheme for the wireless provider. Kudos to these guys for making it just that much easier for developers to write for handsets.

So how will it work? It’s very simple. Developers will submit their apps online. Who gets to keep what share of the revenue will depend on how the program uses T-Mobile‘s network. End users will get them presented to them in order of popularity, not based on what T-Mobile picks out. There’s no specific 30-70 spit like what Apple does with developers in the App Store, but from what we’re hearing, it’s a very generous starting point.

T-Mobile has now become the most open carrier in the US with these recent announcements. Adding into the mix the fact that they are already a founding member of the Open Handset Alliance, and you get a sense for their business model.

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  1. This is a great move by T-Mobile. I am curious about the placement of applications by popularity because I don’t see T-Mobile USA allowing, say porno applications, showing up at the top of their market list. So either there needs to be some filtering of applications during discovery or weeding out during submittal.

  2. “…we know that Android is coming out in a few months and that T-Mobile will be carrying it.”

    Whoa. Says who? That’s wishful thinking on the part of all us geeks here, yes, but there is NO offical announcement of an Android powered device by T-Mobile ( or any other carrier for that matter ). The game of brinkmanship is still being played by all the carriers and none of them has blinked yet.

    Participation in the OHA does not equate to a physical phone that a Consumer can purchase.

  3. “But did you expect to see applications available for the HTC phone that would also work on the BlackBerry Curve and T-Mobile Shadow?”

    No, because that isn’t reality. Each handset has different capabilities and problems and there is no way to make the applications run across the different hardware. At the least, I could see a developer submitting a version of their application for each targeted handset that would have to undergo its own certification process. This already exists today, and is a huge pain in the rear.

  4. Well, it’s not quite as open as it seems. T-Mobile will not distribute other market applications that can cross-sell applications. This is a direct strike against third-party distributions sights like SlideME. Still worth keeping an eye on.

    Storefront: An application using a link to provide an opportunity to buy or to purchase content being published on T-Mobile’s delivery platform (currently mPower) must point to a T-Mobile approved storefront.

  5. This is a good move from T-mobile’s perspective. To a certain extent, they have been pushed in this direction by Android. They must have figured that if there are going to be lot of applications for Android, rather than letting Google host the first Android app marketplace, they are seizing the initiative to host their own app store. As long as they are hosting an app store, why not open it up for all platforms? This gives the added advantage of keeping a close eye (and control) on what apps developers push to their customers. This will probably also mean that it won’t be very easy pushing stuff like VoIP apps through T-Mobile’s site. For that, we will always have third-party app stores. Such choice of multiple app stores is good from the customer’s perspective also.

  6. The store may be open to all devices, but I assume that it is the responsibility of the developers to port the same application to multiple platforms, right? Just checking to make sure I understand what T-Mobile is offering here.

  7. @ Todd
    While T-Mobile hasn’t announced to the world that they will be offering an Android based handset by the end of the year, those in “the know” believe it’s a forgone conclusion. It’s going to happen. It is no longer a matter of if. It’s only a matter of when in the 4th quarter the handset will drop.

  8. Speculate

    Function: verb

    1: To review something idly or casually and often inconclusively

    2: To assume a business risk in hope of gain; especially : to buy or sell in expectation of profiting from market fluctuations

    3: To take to be true on the basis of insufficient evidence

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