Java Application Store Direct

The latest mobile application store to be announced doesn’t come from a handset maker or network operator, but rather a provider of Java developer tools. Javaground announced a new site where users of Java-enabled mobile phones can find, trial and download content. Can it compete with the big boys?

The number of mobile apps stores is quickly getting out of control. Apple launched the iPhone Apps Store in July 2008. The Android Market went live in November 2008. Other companies that have announced mobile storefronts include Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT), RIM (NSDQ: RIMM), Palm, and Nokia (NYSE: NOK). The trend is clear: Mobile handset and mobile platform makers want an easier way to get their content into the hands of end users.

Now comes Xpressed, the new marketplace for Java developers to sell their content directly to end users.

Xpressed — which can be accessed via the Web, the mobile Web, and an on-board Java client — will let end users find, trial and download all sorts of content. Javaground calls the try-before-you-buy feature a way to the “protect consumer’s investment.” It will also offer a feature not yet seen by the other mobile apps stores — a $10 per month unlimited download plan. The idea will let Xpressed customers download and use an unlimited amount of content from the site to their phones for $10 per month.

Lest you think that will mess with developers’ profits, there are some controls being given to the developers. They’ll be able to price their own applications, set the length of any trial, and also opt-out of the Unlimited Plan if they so choose.

Alex Kral, CEO and co-founder of Javaground, said in a prepared statement, “Xpressed provides consumers with unparalled value and efficient content discovery which had always been a challenge in the industry. Xpressed … is much more than a mobile store; it is an AppStore with a self-publishing platform for all developers and publishers, big and small.”

That may be true, but visibility may be a problem to start. The iPhone Apps Store is built into each iPhone. The BlackBerry Storm has a link to the BlackBerry App World built in, as well. Same goes for the HTC G1 and the Android Market. We can assume that future Nokia devices, Windows Mobile 6.5 devices and the Palm Pre will have links to their respective stores included on the handsets out of the box.

How is Xpressed going to gain visibility by end users? Most users of Java phones probably don’t even know that their phones run Java. How is Javaground going to educate end users about the capabilities of their handsets? I don’t think it can rely on the carriers to do the marketing for them. After all, carriers would stand to lose traffic from their own sponsored content.

And what about compatibility issues? Not all Java apps work on all Java-enabled phones. The Samsung Instinct is a prime example of a Java handset that was initially incompatible with many Java applications due to its touch interface.

The idea of having one place for developers of a given platform to distribute their wares is admirable, but will face challenges in light of the hardware-specific sites being run by competing platforms.


The Number 1 Homepage Download into 3G Mobile/Cell Phones

  1. No trackbacks yet.

You must be logged in to post a comment.
%d bloggers like this: