Vodacom to launch own Application Store

Vodacom‘s new mobile applications store will go live in September 2011. Vodacom Apps will feature a catalogue of over 140,000 applications powered by Appia, one of the world‘s largest open application marketplaces.  This event marks the launch of what Vodacom believes will be an entirely new local South African mobile application ecosystem, complete with the development of homegrown talent and revenue opportunities. (Ed: Though Vodacom – you know the idea is not new… right?)
Vodacom Apps will support major mobile platforms including Android, Blackberry, Java, Symbian and Windows Mobile, making it relevant for the vast majority of data capable cellphones and smartphones.  The store will feature a wide variety of apps in various categories such as games, travel and entertainment, business and professional, work and school, and phone tools.
Pieter Uys, Vodacom Chief Executive Officer said:
“œThe launch of this app store is just the beginning. We‘re building an entire community that will supply home-grown apps relevant to the South African environment. With all the talent available in this country there‘s no reason we can‘t create our own application industry. The great part about this store is that it caters for so many users ““ in fact, more than 10 million cellphones on our network can run at least Java apps.“
Vodacom Apps users will be able to download free apps, for which standard data charges will apply. In the near future, Vodacom will introduce paid-for apps which customers can pay for using their airtime account.  This means that all Vodacom customers can use the store without the need for a credit or debit card.
All Vodacom customers who wish to access Vodacom Apps can do so from 1 September by simply visiting http://vodacom.mobi/apps on their cellphones or from the Apps feature on Vodafone live! – take note this will not replace existing app stores on devices.
“œVodacom‘s commitment to supporting and further developing the South African apps market is being taken a step further today through an extensive Vodacom Developer Programme, launched in conjunction with the Vodacom Apps store,“ Uys added.
The Vodacom Developer Programme will provide the developer community with technical and commercial support, including training, workshops and innovation incentives over the coming months. This will further stimulate the local development of apps by allowing developers to upload their own developed applications and generate revenue from this.