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Symbian App Store Goes Live

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In the ongoing war between Android, BlackBerry OS and iPhone OS it seems the world has forgotten about who is still numero uno: Symbian. And this old dog has just learnt an essential new trick...

Using its annual Symbian Exchange and Exposition 2009 (SEE 2009) show, the platform has announced its 'Horizon' app store has gone live today with the first 50 apps now through the door (including YouTube, Twitter and Qik cllients). The plan is "to process thousands of applications in 2010".

Of course many Symbian platforms already have their own application stores, most notably Nokia's Ovi, the Samsung Application Store and Sony Ericsson's PlayNow arena. The good news then is all of these, plus China Mobile's Mobile Market and AT&T's Media Mall will all support Horizon and integrate its applications directly into their offerings.

"We recognize that developers face many challenges in bringing their products to market on Symbian devices," admitted Symbian Foundation executive director Lee Williams. "In particular, the diversity of application stores in our ecosystem increases the burden on developers by requiring multiple submission and review processes. But this diversity can also offer an advantage over competitors' closed systems, where applications sometimes receive arbitrary or commercially motivated rejections. Symbian Horizon retains this advantage while reducing the burden by becoming a conduit to multiple stores, helping developers reach the largest global mobile market in the world more efficiently."

The challenge in a nutshell: divide and conquer or divide and fracture...

Symbian promises the Symbian Signed process will also be revised over the next few months, providing developers with the option of automatically adding an application to the Symbian Horizon Directory. Once ready, developers will be able to register online and edit their application and developer profiles, providing both stores and consumers with complete information about their products.

So can Horizon catch up with the likes of Apple's App Store which recently passed 100,000 app mark this week? It's a monstrous task, but if anyone has the market share to do it then it's Symbian...

In related news Deutsche Telekom is launching its popular software download site, Softwareload in the UK after its success in Germany. In short, the service bundles independently produced software into a single site and allows users not only to download and purchase applications, but also store them in the cloud so they can be transferred easily between different computers. The site has seen more than 20 million downloads in Germany and houses products such as Nuance PDF apps, MAGIX photo and Nero burning software.

Anything that makes life easier is fine by us...

Update 06/11/09: Softwareload is now live and has launched with a 50 per cent off sale. Bonus!

Links:
Symbian Horizon Official Blog Post
Symbian Apps

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