Japan’s biggest business daily The Nikkei is reporting that the country’s leading mobile carrier, NTT Docomo, is to unveil a a new app store of sorts on Monday, December 6. The portal will offer 1,200 apps from the get-go, in addition to 1 million music titles and a total of 30,000 e-books – exclusively for feature phones.
The app (or rather: content) store will only be accessible through i-mode enabled handsets, with Docomo pocketing 20% of all revenue from content providers. That’s significantly more than the current 9% the company charges for serving as a sales and billing agent for third parties.
Docomo customers have been able to download special apps on their mobile phones since 2001 (needless to say, downloading music, movies or any type of digital content has been possible on all Japanese mobile phones for years).
This new store gives individual developers the chance to offer apps to the 55 million customers Docomo boasts in Japan, just like in Apple’s App Store. This was impossible before – all of the around 20,000 providers currently offering apps for Docomo phones are “registered businesses”.
The Nikkei first reported that Docomo was preparing a new app portal in August this year.
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