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Orange building Apple-style app store for IPTV

The mobile division of France Telecom, Orange, has confirmed plans to build an Apple-style app store for its IPTV service.

Informa Telecoms & Media analyst, Rob Gallagher, revealed this week that Orange will lay the ground work for the marketplace at its annual Partner Camp event to be held in Cape Canaveral this month.

There, the operator will call on the assembled developers to help it build what the event’s programme calls a “TV application shop for open set-top boxes”.

Speaking with Steve Glagow, leader of Orange’s third party Partner developer programme, Gallagher discovered that the operator is taking a slightly different tack to Apple’s App Store. Orange’s TV store will likely offer content and applications that customers can already access via their mobile handsets and PCs, rather than just the mobile device.

“We have a converged strategy. We don’t believe you can buy technology which runs across the handset, the PC and the set-top device effectively. Television is one area – the set-top device – is where we believe we’re lacking in sharing content that would run on a PC and would run on a mobile phone. And what we’re trying to do is build that solution,” said Glasgow.

Contrary to Apple’s example, Orange is betting that compatibility with a wide range of mobile phones, set-top boxes and other computing devices will be key to success. But Gallagher notes how hard to this will be to achieve.

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