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Blackberry Mobility Featured Article

February 11, 2010

Sprint to Partner with GetJar for First Carrier App Store Launch

By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor

Apple has long been known as a trend setter and the craze it set off with its App Store has the entire mobile industry scrambling to try and duplicate this success. As long as the iPhone (News - Alert) is only available on the AT&T network, it may still be profitable for other carriers to develop their own app store – but that could easily change if the iPhone can be readily available on other networks.

Sprint is the latest to watch to jump into the world of mobile apps. According to a Mobile Marketing Watch report, the provider has decided they need to leverage the success of the App Store in their own right. The company is wise in identifying that this is not a task they should take on from the ground up and has instead partnered with GetJar to make more than 60,000 existing apps available to its subscribers from day one.

Sprint (News - Alert) announced yesterday that a link to GetJar’s mobile app catalog is now live on its portal across most handsets, including all feature-phone subscribers and BlackBerry (News - Alert) and Windows Mobile users. This is the first move of its kind for Sprint, following on the heels of 3UK and Sony Ericsson who have forged similar partnerships with GetJar recently.

It is no secret Sprint has been re-working its strategy to regain its foothold in the U.S. market. Part of this strategy has been a key focus on partnering with carriers and device makers to strengthen its reach and provide more value for developers.

“Carriers and phone makers realize they don’t have to own their own app stores — what’s really important is to give access to applications to consumers,” GetJar founder and CEO Ilja Laurs said in a recent statement. “It’s not in the spirit of the American tradition to force consumers to shop in one place, so it’s very rewarding to see an American carrier offering this kind of choice.”

With the launch of this store, Sprint will be the first major U.S. carrier to offer a complete end-to-end mobile app store, although others are likely to soon follow. Sprint is taking the right approach in delivering immediate satisfaction and value from the word go as this could be the one thing that will draw subscribers in.

In other Sprint news, the U.S. carrier announced its support of Tango Networks’ mobile UC solution, Abrazo. This latest move is expected to enhance its Mobile Integration solution and will enable business customers to leverage the productivity and cost benefits of IP telephony, unified communications and wireless mobility.

Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMCnet and has also written for eastbiz.com. To read more of Susan’s articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Patrick Barnard

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