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August 18, 2009

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More than games at Mobile Market

CHINA Mobile yesterday opened a mobile applications store online to provide its more than 500 million handset subscribers services, including games and music.

Mobile Market is the first mobile application store founded by a carrier and is similar to Apple Inc's AppStore and Nokia's Ovi.

Mobile Market will provide applications for all mobile platforms except iPhone, which will be launched on the domestic market by the end of this year by China Mobile's rival China Unicom.

The store will include applications such as games, software, music, digital books and periodicals, as well as videos. Those the applications support include Nokia, Motorola and Google's Android system phones.

"It's an open platform with rich applications. We believe it will help us complete the establishment of a TD-SCDMA industry chain," China Mobile Chairman Wang Jianzhou said in Beijing yesterday.

At present, most online applications stores are established by device makers such as Apple and Nokia. These stores only provide applications for their own handsets.

"The online store will increase China Mobile's 3G subscribers and give it another source of revenue," said Wu Wenzhao, analyst at Analysys International, a Beijing-based IT consulting firm.

China Mobile will charge up to 15 yuan (US$2) for each application. Applications will be free until September 30, China Mobile said. The company is also encouraging developers to design applications for Mobile Market. The company said it would share any income with developers.

US-based research firm In-Stat said Mobile Market would give mobile content providers another platform for their applications.



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