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Android Gets Carrier-Operated European App Store 89 89

Andrew Smith writes "Android fragmentation begins: EuroDroid reports that Vodafone will launch an Android app store in June, to fill in the European gaps where Google hasn't yet launched the official Android app store. Worrying quote: 'All apps will be pre-selected and tested by [Vodafone's after-sales processor] Arvato Mobile for compatibility with our devices.' Just a few days ago Slashdot covered the suggestion by Barry O'Neil, ex-president of Namco Bandai Network Europe, that it could be wise for Google to 'hand over the entire management of the Android Market to carriers, OEMs, and trusted publishers.'"
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Android Gets Carrier-Operated European App Store

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  • by NeutronCowboy (896098) on Saturday April 10, 2010 @03:48PM (#31801112)

    It seems to me that Vodafone will simply be another repository for android apps - except that they decide what apps to show. What would prevent anybody else from just duplicating everything but the apps over which Vodafone has copyright control?

    To me, this seems more like Vodafone creating a windows app store: yes, they control what is shown, but I can still go to download.com, private sites and individual developers to get Windows apps. Same thing for Android. Well, except for those who have Vodafone phones... I'm sure there'll be some trickery on there to prevent users from getting apps from anywhere but the Vodafone store.

  • by ducomputergeek (595742) on Saturday April 10, 2010 @03:55PM (#31801170)

    Firmware added to "their phones" that only allow users to purchase from their app store. Apple cut the carriers out of the market with the iPhone. The carriers aren't going to let Google do the same.

  • by davester666 (731373) on Saturday April 10, 2010 @03:58PM (#31801186) Journal

    "Worrying quote: 'All apps will be pre-selected and tested by [Vodafone's after-sales processor] Arvato Mobile for compatibility with our devices.'"

    What they really mean:

    Worrying quote: 'All apps will be pre-selected and tested by [Vodafone's after-sales processor] Arvato Mobile for compatibility with our business model.'

  • Re:FUD (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mlts (1038732) * on Saturday April 10, 2010 @04:02PM (#31801200)

    Having multiple stores is what nearly killed Windows Mobile until 6.5. The fact that users had to dig around and search for apps, find a website to download the .cab or .exe file, then install it manually made impulse buying of stuff (a big source of cash) impossible.

    The nice thing about one app store is that if one wants an app, they can search for it and find it in one place. This also makes it easier to handle funding and selling of apps.

    Having multiple app stores just means it is harder to find what one wants. Is the app on one cellular carrier's store and nowhere else? Is it on the generic Android app store? This also means that an app maker has to deal with multiple stores and their ways of handling purchases and returns.

  • by Tim C (15259) on Saturday April 10, 2010 @04:30PM (#31801330)

    Thanks for pointing this out - I'm currently in the market for an HTC Desire (though am still tempted by an iPhone), and Vodafone was one of the providers I was looking at. The apparent 500MB/month data limit was already putting me off a bit (compared to T-Mobile's 3GB one), but this probably clinches it for me.

  • by InakaBoyJoe (687694) on Saturday April 10, 2010 @05:30PM (#31801796)

    "Android fragmentation begins"? I don't think so. It's in full-swing.

    Seems like every week some marketing dweeb comes up with the brilliant idea to create yet another app store. Motorola [motorola.com] and Lenovo [jlmpacificepoch.com] have their own, as does China Mobile [dailyradar.com]. That's not even counting the dime-a-dozen independent entries with names like Handango, Cellmania, AndAppStore, MobiHand, GetJar, Nexva, SlideMe, etc. etc.

    I am an Android developer, and get an email every week from yet another app store. Each has its own custom requirements and contract overhead, and they expect us to do the work for free for the "privilege" of joining their flock and whatever scheme-of-the-day they are concocting as their business plan.

    No thanks. I dump those emails and stick with the Android Market. For all its flaws, developers need to show solidarity and work towards improving it. The alternative is to give away your work and place it in the hands of the likes of wireless carriers, who will continue their land grab game at the expense of the developers, innovators, and consumers.

  • by ConfusedVorlon (657247) on Saturday April 10, 2010 @06:18PM (#31802300) Homepage

    no, the carriers are just too crap to manage that.

    they'll tie themselves up in 'appropriate bandwidth usage' and 'brand compatibility guideline' and 'independent testing certification' and 'no external linking policy' and a bajillion other crap requirements that make it impractical or too expensive for independent developers to list their apps.

    try listing something at the Orange app store. I jumped through the first few hoops. Then they wrote to me and said they liked my app (for Denmark mind - not internationally). They told me to write to one of their third party suppliers who handled hosting and included two contacts in the email.

    I wrote to both (with the orange email attached). One ignored me. The other told me that they don't do that kind of business.

    After a couple of emails, the second one agreed that they do do that kind of business and sent me a huge pack of requirments that I have to fill in. Including testing (for which they bill me if I don't generate enough revenue in three months), a bunch of spreadsheets to fill in, and the deal that ends up with me getting about 30% of the sale price.

    Popcap will jump through those hoops. Independent developers mostly won't.

  • by Svenne (117693) on Saturday April 10, 2010 @06:39PM (#31802524) Homepage

    What app developers need to do is just what the parent has done. Just stick with Google's app store, and don't try to peddle their apps on other markets. This way, customers always come to one place, rather than check one store and not others.

    No. What Google need to do is to enable that part of the market for the so called European gaps. The first Android mobile phone marketed in Sweden was the HTC Magic, and that was back in February 2009. It's been more than a year and Google still has not made paid apps available on the Market.

    Before that happens, I'm all for independent market places filling the need that Google for some reason doesn't.

    Maybe this will speed things up. One can at least hope, even if Sweden wasn't on the list of countries supported by Vodafone's store.

  • Re:FUD (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Tapewolf (1639955) on Saturday April 10, 2010 @06:50PM (#31802638)

    Having multiple stores is what nearly killed Windows Mobile until 6.5. The fact that users had to dig around and search for apps, find a website to download the .cab or .exe file, then install it manually made impulse buying of stuff (a big source of cash) impossible.

    It also made it a viable platform for internal business applications. As far as I can see, Apple does not provide a mechanism for this, and WM7 taketh it away.

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