It has become more of a question of who doesn't have an app store...
Orange is another company we can now cross off that list having today launched 'Application Shop' (yes, I'm amazed it found yet another variant too). Much like O2 Litmus and T-Mobile's pretensions I'm not sure I see the point in a network trying to cater for 1000s of models by different manufacturers all using different OSes, but never mind.
Still, Orange App Shop does open today with a creditable 5,000 apps, games, ringtones and wallpapers (expect the vast minority of this number to be apps at this point). It also unites services such as Orange TV, Orange Games and Orange Maps under one roof.
"We are giving customers a tailor-made shop window on the mobile that makes it easier to discover, download, use and manage content," said Orange EVP Yves Tyrode. "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."
That experience will hinge on handset support and come January Nokia, Sony Ericsson, Samsung, LG, HTC, Motorola and RIM handsets will all come pre-loaded with App Shop on Orange. Given each already has their own app stores however it is debatable whether this is a good thing or will just confuse customers. Still, Orange looks determined and will be rolling out App Shop across Spain, Poland, Romania, Switzerland, Slovakia, Belgium, Austria, Moldova and Portugal during 2010.
My personal opinion? There are now far too many app stores and they should be mobile OS based, not manufacturer or network initiatives. I'd say expect the first app store causalities also in 2010...