Posted by: Olga Kharif on October 16, 2008
Handango just made a brilliant, counter-intuitive move. This independent provider of applications for BlackBerry devices as well as for Windows Mobile- and Symbian-based smartphones just launched its own marketplace for applications for phones based on Android software.
At first glance, the move is surprising. After all, Android heavyweight Google has promised to launch Android Market, where developers will be able to peddle free software. Eventually, the Market will sell paid applications, too. Eventually — but not right the way.
This is where Handango sees its opportunity: Handango will allow developers to sell paid Android apps on the day the first Android phone, T-Mobile G1, debuts on Oct. 22. Developers will be able to sell their wares for a one-time fee, or for monthly, quarterly or annual subscriptions. Its first offerings will include Android versions of Monopoly, ShopSavvy shopping comparison app, and a golf game, among others. To kick off further developer activity, Handango has just launched a developer contest.
As a result, Handango could attract developers who want to sell their applications for a fee from the start. What’s more, loyal Handango users who switch to Android devices can use their familiar store to continue to buy apps.
In fact, I think it would make sense for all mobile applications providers to launch their own Android stores. Because — why not? Unlike Apple’s iTunes, which is the only place where developers are legally allowed to sell their applications for the iPhone, Android Market imposes no such limitations.