Orange joins fray, sets out its store

French international carrier Orange has launched its own application store – the Orange App Shop – promising more than 5,000 applications, games, ringtones and wallpapers at launch.

The store was made available Wednesday to more than one million users in France and the UK, Orange said, through an over-the-air download to compatible handsets. From January 2010, devices including the Nokia 6700, Sony Ericsson W995 and the Sony Ericsson Yari U100i (France only) will be preloaded with the App Shop and sold in the UK and France, Orange said. Later in the year handsets from Samsung, LG, HTC, Motorola and RIM will also be made available with the store pre-loaded.

Orange will roll out the App Shop across its portfolio in 2010, the firm said, extending it to Spain, Poland, Romania, Switzerland, Slovakia, Belgium, Austria, Moldova and Portugal.

The App Shop will be used to showcase Orange branded services, including Orange TV, Orange Games and Orange Maps, as well as a range of applications and content from established, third-party providers.

Content will be compatible with a range of platforms, including Symbian, Windows Mobile, Android, Blackberry and Java.

Yves Tyrode, EVP of Orange Technocentre said: “We are giving customers a tailor-made shop window on the mobile that makes it easier to discover, download, use and manage content. Whether it’s a Smartphone user, or someone using a simpler device, we know the demand for content is there – it’s just about getting that experience right.”

Application stores have been one of the biggest trends in the mobile industry in 2009, with handset vendors, carriers and platform developers all seeking to establish stronger relationships with the end user by mimicking Apple’s genre-defining App Store.

There is much debate as to which type of organisation is best suited to operating application stores, with mobile carriers arguing they are best positioned because they serve a range of users on a range of platforms. Handset vendors, by contrast, believe that they are best placed to manage development communities built around their own devices.

“Orange Partner and our unique global network of developer centres enable us to deliver unparalleled testing, development and marketing assistance,” said Orange’s Tyrode. “This innovation network, our close collaboration with device and platform manufacturers as well as content providers and other industry initiatives, illustrates just how committed we are to reducing barriers to application development to get great content for our customers to enjoy.”

One comment

  1. Avatar Terry Hughes 09/12/2009 @ 5:44 pm

    As a leading app developer on BlackBerry, last week I wrote an article called “the 3 rounds of the app store battle” discussing who will win round 3, the carriers or the handset manufacturers. It was well received by the industry and your readers will find it thought-provoking. It’s at

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