Feeds

Move over, Apple: Symbian preps app warehouse

Horizon distribution centre set for October

The Power of One Infographic

The Symbian Foundation has been waxing lyrical about its application warehouse, now titled Horizon, which will be available to all and sundry come October.

Horizon won't be an application store, but is intended to be a warehouse from which application stores can select their stock. The Symbian Foundation will sign applications, support developers, and take care of distributing revenue, but punters won't be able to buy applications direct from Symbian.

The strategy has been announced before: all that's new is the name and launch schedule, with Horizon already opened to selected partners and available to everyone else come October. But the approach is interesting and intended to provide the advantages of Apple's iTunes store, with an openness and competitiveness that Apple's offering lacks.

With its monopolistic application store the iPhone offers unparalleled simplicity and consistency in application development and distribution, and has driven the activity into the mainstream. Creating applications for Symbian could be equally simple, but the flexibility of the platform leads to inevitable complexity as the application publisher must negotiate deals with, and have their application approved by, different retailers - all of whom have their own rules.

Symbian Horizon is intended to simplify that part of the process: an application author gets approval to list their application in Horizon, and retailers such as Ovi and operator stores pick applications from the list to put on their shelves. Publishers who don't like Horizon are free to do deals direct, or sell direct to the public if they so desire.

There was a time when on-line software retailers sold packages for desktop computers too, and a few still exist today, though the majority of software sold over the internet now is purchased direct from the publisher's web site. One can't help wondering if that's the model that will, eventually, come to mobile too, with Symbian Horizon and Microsoft Marketplace being stop-gap solutions while the mobile-software brands become established.

Or perhaps this is a new business model where several layers of intermediation are desirable, though one has to wonder to whom. ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them
It's almost as though pr0n was actually rather popular
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
Google Nest, ARM, Samsung pull out Thread to strangle ZigBee
But there's a flaw in Google's IP-based IoT system
Orange spent weekend spamming customers with TXTs
Zero, not infinity, is the Magic Number customers want
US freemium mobile network eyes up Europe
FreedomPop touts 'free' calls, texts and data
'Two-speed internet' storm turns FCC.gov into zero-speed website
Deadline for comments on net neutrality shake-up extended to Friday
Oh girl, you jus' didn't: Level 3 slaps Verizon in Netflix throttle blowup
Just hook us up to more 10Gbps ports, backbone biz yells in tit-for-tat spat
Want to beat Verizon's slow Netflix? Get a VPN
Exec finds stream speed climbs when smuggled out
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.