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Sony Ericsson Jumps Into App Store Battle

The company will be teaming with GetJar to enable mobile users to browse, buy, download and install applications over the air.

Sony Ericsson is getting into the application store game, and it will be opening up so developers can target its mobile phone customers.

The company will team up with GetJar to distribute these applications through the PlayNow service, which already delivers movies and other content to Sony Ericsson phones. Over-the-air application stores are a hot topic in the mobile space, and Sony Ericsson will be joining the likes of Apple, Nokia, Research In Motion, Microsoft, and Google by offering a virtual store for users to browse, buy, download and install apps on a mobile handset.

The fifth-largest cell phone maker will try to emulate the success Apple has had with its App Store for the iPhone and iPod Touch, which has seen more than a billion downloads in less than a year. Sony Ericsson said there will be no fees to submit "high-quality" apps for PlayNow, but it didn't say if it would be taking a percentage of the revenue from sold apps. All of the competing mobile content store creators take a cut from sold apps, and it varies from 20% to 30%.

"We recognize that it needs to be simple and attractive for developers to reach consumers and that there is a need for established content channels to push creative applications," said Christopher David, head of developer and partner engagement at Sony Ericsson, in a statement. "Our new application submission process gives developers easy-to-use access to the Sony Ericsson PlayNow arena marketplace."

Sony Ericsson will begin accepting application submissions at the beginning of July, and the store will be open later in the year. The store will be initially open to 38 Sony Ericsson handsets that run Java ME and Symbian, and the company will expand it to cover additional platforms eventually.

InformationWeek has published an in-depth report on smartphone security. Download the report here (registration required).

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