MWC: Opera And Ericsson Launch Mobile eStore For Apps

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Mobile browser company Opera has created an application store for Ericsson, in a bid to prevent customers from deferring to more advanced smartphone platforms

Browser specialist Opera and handset maker Ericsson have become the latest mobile players to ape Apple’s successful App Store with the launch of their own eStore offering.

Announced this week, amid the launch of the Mobile World Congress event in Barcelona, the eStore is designed to allow mobile phone service providers to offer their customers an App Store-like experience. The companies state that the eStore will offer a variety of so-called widgets for the Opera browser as well as native applications.

“Opera’s cross-platform capabilities allow the eStore to serve as a one-stop-shop for customers to purchase and start using new applications on their mobile phones and other devices,” the companies stated.

According to Opera co-founder Jon von Tetzchner, the eStore could help operators retain customers who might be tempted away by the application offered on other platforms. “With this additional revenue stream, operators can now better target new users groups and retain existing customers through new, useful applications that can run on multiple device types,” he said.

The Ericsson eStore is now available in 25 markets worldwide on more than 100 operator networks.

Last week, Opera made available the beta of Opera 10.50 for Windows, which the company is calling the “the fastest browser ever”. Opera is also to preview its Opera Mini browser for the iPhone at Mobile World Congress.

The upcoming release of Apple’s iPad tablet PC has been linked to a spike in third-party developers building apps for the iPhone OS, according to mobile analytics company Flurry, even as Apple and Google continue to mirror each other with regard to user retention, session frequency and session lengths for their respective iPhone and Android applications.

The Mobile World Congress event begins this week in Barcelona and is seen as the biggest event in the mobile industry calendar.

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