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Best Buy, Handango Team To Sell Mobile Apps

Customers can buy mobile apps in-store from trained staff who will download, install, and customize the programs on their smartphones.

Best Buy and Handango are partnering to make it easier for customers to buy smartphone applications.

Best Buy Mobile store customers can purchase entertainment and business apps while shopping for a Windows Mobile, BlackBerry, Palm, or Symbian smartphone. The apps can be downloaded, installed, and personalized by trained staff, and certain games and app packages will be sold on a MicroSD card for a plug-and-play experience.

"Customers will now be able to purchase top titles a la carte with simple pricing, have them downloaded and installed by Best Buy Mobile's expert staff, making it easier than ever to personalize their devices," said Bill Stone, Handango's CEO, in a statement.

Additionally, Handango's In-Hand client will be downloaded onto certain smartphones, and customers will have on-the-go access to the mobile app store on the handset.

"With the onrush of exciting new smartphones hitting the marketplace, Best Buy couldn't have chosen a better partner than Handango to provide the most expansive choice of top applications so our customers can walk out the door with these devices working and personalized for their lifestyle," said Scott Moore, VP of marketing for Best Buy Mobile.

The move is part of the consumer electronic retailer's overall strategy to be a bigger player in the wireless space. It has invested more than $10 million to makes sure its noncommission staff is knowledgeable about the latest devices, plans, and trends, and it carries about 95 handsets, including the iPhone 3G, BlackBerry Bold, and the Storm.

The partnership also points to an increasing demand for mobile applications. Apple recently reported it had more than 300 million downloads from its App Store, and rivals Google and Research In Motion already have or will soon have their own stores for customers to search, download, buy, and install programs on their smartphones.

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