It seems that every story I’ve read regarding the T-Mobile open network (with particular props to mocoNews) compares the idea to the iPhone app store. I’m not quite sure why, other than the fact that we all love to compare things to the iPhone. Instead, though, of this open development environment and application store covering one offering from T-Mobile, it will run across the carrier’s handset lineup. So instead of having 10 million potential people buying apps from the store, T-Mobile has over 30 million potential application users. Of course, how they implement this will play a large role in how many of those 30 million actually buy them. T-Mo isn’t talking much now, but have issued this statement from director of Mobile Applications and Partner Programs Venetia Espinoza:
“T-Mobile is working with the industry to foster an open wireless services platform which will provide developers with the tools and information they need to make new, innovative experiences available to T-Mobile’s more than 31.5M customers. The devPartner Community site, which is in its alpha stage, is just a taste of what T-Mobile has in store and we encourage you to stay tuned for more details in the coming weeks.”
We’re seeing many carriers move to these consumer-friendly practices to gain an edge in a marketplace dominated by two entities. We saw prepaid carrier MetroPCS allow customers to activate any CDMA phone on their network, something you’re not likely to see Verizon doing anytime soon. Likewise, one wouldn’t expect AT&T to open its platform for a carrier-wide application store.