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Handango, Sony Ericsson Partner In Content Deal

The global deal will let Sony Ericsson handset users have access to Handango's smartphone applications.
Handango announced Thursday a global partnership with Sony Ericsson to bring mobile smartphone applications to all of the phone manufacturer's convergence handsets.

Sony Ericsson's first product using the Windows Mobile operating system, the Xperia X1, will have an on-deck Handango-branded InHand client that gives users direct access to mobile applications. With this client, users will be able to browse the catalogue online and offline, and they will be able to purchase directly with one click.

Additionally, Handango will be the content provider for Sony Ericsson's mobile Web store for UIQ phones, like the Sony Ericsson G900. Starting July 25, UIQ customers will be able to access content from Handango's mobile store via the phone's browser.

Later in the year, Handango said it will offer its InHand client on all Sony Ericsson UIQ devices.

The partnership comes as the Apple App Store's opening is capturing most of the headlines in the mobile space, but Handango CEO Bill Stone said Apple's moves have been good for his company.

"Before the original iPhone came out, many people thought of smartphones as only capable of making calls and checking e-mails," Stone told InformationWeek. "It's raised customer awareness of the powers that smartphones have."

Seeing iPhone users with cool applications on their handset will drive smartphone users to seek programs on their devices, Stone said. Additionally, Stone said Apple's competitors will try to accelerate consumer adoption of smartphones, and this will lead to more users wanting mobile applications.

This is the latest move from Handango to expand its distribution. Last week, the company said it would offer its applications through Best Buy's Web site and stores, and, in March, it partnered with Carphone Warehouse to sell its applications to European customers.

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