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Sony Ericsson to launch mobile application store

PlayNow Arena to offer 45,000 mobile apps

Sony Ericsson PlayNow logo

Sony Ericsson has joined other major mobile phone brands in developing an online store for third-party free mobile applications, to compete with Apple’s App Store.

The company announced on Wednesday at the JavaOne Software Developers’ Conference in San Francisco that it will partner with GetJar to roll out an addition to its PlayNow Arena download service, which will allow users to obtain third-party software for the company’s handsets. 

The PlayNow Arena currently allows users to download music, movies, games and themes to their mobile, and the GetJar tie-in will enable Sony Ericsson to launch with a library of 45,000 apps.

Which? has reviews of over 170 mobile phone handsets, including the Best Buy Sony Ericsson K850i Cybershot.

According to press reports, developers will be able to begin submitting software for approval on 1 July, and Sony has said that it will not be charging developer fees for submissions. App downloads from PlayNow Arena should be compatible with all Javascript-capable devices, including Windows Mobile, Symbian, BlackBerry, Palm, and phones running Flash Lite.

PlayNow Arena competes with App Store, Android Marketplace and Nokia Ovi

Sony Ericsson head of content and services Björn Ahlberg said: ‘Sony Ericsson is delighted to introduce applications as the latest evolution of PlayNow Arena, offering an established marketplace to our developer and partner community. By bringing high-quality applications into PlayNow Arena, consumers are only one click away from the worldwide creativity of innovative application developers.’

The launch of PlayNow Arena brings Sony Ericsson into line with other mobile handset and software companies who have developed third-party software services. Other application services include Apple’s App Store – –  the Google Android Marketplace, BlackBerry App World and the Nokia Ovi store

Which? tech expert Al Warman says: ‘Apple’s iPhone App Store has shown that consumers have a voracious appetite for mobile phone apps, and rival manufacturers are now playing catch-up.

Which? has launched its first free iPhone App for Best Buy headphone reviews, so everyone can find Best Buy headphones that sound great. There are more than 80 sets reviewed, so head on over to the Apple App Store now.

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