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12/23/2008
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Handango Partners With Mobile Game Publishers

The mobile application retailer finds that smartphone users are increasingly choosing fun and games over productivity apps.

Despite the faltering economy and the shrinking cell phone market, mobile gaming is still seen as a growth industry, and revenue should hit $4.5 billion this year.

With this in mind, the online mobile application retailer Handango announced a partnership with game publishers Digital Chocolate and I-play. The deal will expand Handango's catalog of mobile games for Windows Mobile and BlackBerry, and it will include "Deal Or No Deal," "Jenga," "Mercenaries 2," "3D Brick Breaker Revolution," and "The Fast And The Furious: Tokyo Drift."

"With the 'Games' category now coming in at second place behind 'Entertainment' for the first time in Handango's history, we are excited to expand our content offerings through partnerships with some of the leading mobile game publishers in the industry," said Alex Bloom, Handango's VP of content, in a statement. "Digital Chocolate and I-play have created an incredible array of games for the exploding smartphone marketplace."

Once the exclusive domain of mobile professionals, smartphones have gained a larger, more casual market. Handango has seen that trend impact its customers' downloads, and games and entertainment recently surpassed business and productivity apps.

The partnership also points to an increasing demand for mobile applications overall. Apple's App Store has been a major catalyst for this, and iPhone and iPod Touch users have downloaded more than 300 million apps in about six months.

Other mobile providers have noticed the growing importance of mobile apps and are launching their own stores that compete with Handango. Google's Android and Research In Motion's BlackBerry already or will soon have a centralized hub for finding, buying, and downloading mobile programs. Even Microsoft's Windows Mobile is reportedly readying its own app store that will be launched alongside Windows Mobile 7.

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