LG Taps Handango For App Store

The deal will boost LG Electronics' mobile application catalog in order to better compete against Apple, Research In Motion, and Google.
LG Electronics said it will be teaming with Handango to provide content for its over-the-air application store.

For LG, the move bolsters its app store catalog to better compete against the likes of Apple, Google, and Research In Motion. LG is placing a major emphasis on smartphones in its bid to overtake Samsung as the second-biggest handset maker, and it plans to have at least 13 Windows smartphones by the end of next year.

By allowing an outside party to take care of the content, LG will be able to focus on improving the devices themselves. Sony Ericsson is taking a similar approach, as the independent app store GetJar will be providing content for the upcoming PlayNow app store.

The deal is part of Handango's App Store Accelerator service, which offers carriers and handset makers a tailored virtual storefront for delivering, managing, and promoting mobile apps. The company is a logical partner for the LG Application Store because it has been offering thousands of mobile apps for years on platforms like Windows Mobile, Palm OS, BlackBerry, and Symbian.

"Through this partnership with Handango we are providing optimized and wide-ranging content options, maximizing our customer's experiences with their LG smartphones," said Seol Keum Hee, VP at LG, in a statement. "We aim to deliver the excellence of LG's own product and services to our customers more effectively in the LG application store."

Thanks to the success of Apple's App Store, mobile apps are becoming increasingly important in the smartphone space. Apple users have downloaded more than 1.8 billion programs in a little more than a year, and the store has become a significant driver of sales for the iPhone and iPod Touch. Companies like RIM, Microsoft, Google, Samsung, and Nokia are also rolling out stores for users to browse, buy, download, and install apps on their handsets.

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