T-Mobile recently made it known that it will be the first carrier to offer its own mobile-accessible application store in line with Apple’s App Store. What better venue than CTIA to shed some new light on T-Mobile’s plans to enter the evolving space that is mobile app distribution? Here is the condensed version of an interview with T-Mobile’s Venetia Espinoza, Director of Product Development for mobile apps and partner programs, and Sue Schmitz, Product Marketing Manager of the devPartner program:
- The initial offering will allow free and pay apps, but nothing containing advertising. There will also be no Android apps allowed (Android Marketplace should get interesting) and no Sidekick apps either.
- The developer agreement will be live on T-Mobile’s site next week and developers may begin signing on as soon as it goes live.
- As far as a revenue split, the terms start at 50 / 50 but there are various factors that can bump it up to as much as 70% for the developer. Developers get an increase as they meet various criteria such as providing multiple points of contact for customer service and supporting 10 or more T-Mobile handsets.
- T-Mobile will be providing demo handsets and a virtual lab to assist developers.
- Free apps will be allowed in the store at no cost to the developer but there will limitations as far as how much bandwidth they can use.
- There will not be an API available from day one but T-Mobile is considering opening up a bit more in the future. In other words, for the time being there will be no access to handset functionality such as GPS for location-based services, Contacts, Camera, MyFaves, etc. Hmm.
So there you have it people. Initially you’re going to be looking at a proof of concept of sorts; very basic stuff that will help T-Mobile determine how it wants to move forward and expand. As far as whether or not it will allow Google’s competitive offering on Android handsets it sells, only time will tell.