Handango has won a contract to operate electronic software stores for US network operator Sprint. Customers with Palm OS or Pocket PC devices will be able to browse and purchase software from a Sprint-branded web store or directly from their mobile devices using a wireless connection.
Sprint has integrated the service with its handheld portal, which also provides information such as news and weather to users of wireless devices. Handango has agreements with many device manufacturers and network operators to deliver software to their customers under branded interfaces. The e-tailer boasts a directory of some 20,000 mobile applications, which it sells on behalf of developers in return for a percentage of revenue.
“We’re pleased to work with Handango to offer the PCS Software Store to our Vision customers,” said Phil Bowman, vice president, business marketing, PCS division, Sprint. “The PCS Software Store provides PCS customers who use Pocket PC and Palm Powered devices with mobile software tools that are entertaining and improve personal efficiency as well as help mobile professionals increase productivity, reduce costs and create a competitive advantage.”
Handango continues to impress with the list of high profile partners for which it operates electronic storefronts. The business is model is superb, relying on established partners with large existing customer bases and strong brands to promote a service which can be easily customised for an unlimited number of e-stores.
The key is that Handango has achieved the necessary scale in terms of its software catalogue and customer numbers to make it the first point of call for developers, end-users and brand customers alike. Similar ventures, such as PalmGear and the departed BrainDock, have failed to grow quickly enough to establish themselves as effective competitors.
Sprint is right to put this agreement in place early. There are a growing number of customers equipped with wireless handhelds, such as the Sprint-branded Handspring Treo 300, and Sprint’s Vision network is fast enough to support over-the-air software downloads.
Originally published by PMN Mobile Industry Intelligence, the subscription-based analysis and insight platform founded by Marek Pawlowski.