Sprint Wants In On Mobile Apps, Partners With GetJar

Sprint Wants In On Mobile Apps, Partners With GetJarCarriers want in on mobile apps.  They’ve slowly figured out the value they bring to subscribers, and realize they must leverage the success of Apple’s App Store to bring the people what they want.  Sprint has decided to forgo the normal process of building an app store from the ground-up, and instead has opted to partner with GetJar to make more than 60,000 existing apps available to its subscribers from day one.

In a press release issued yesterday, Sprint announced that a link to GetJar’s mobile app catalog is now live on its portal across most of its handsets- including all feature-phone subscribers, as well as Blackberry and Windows Mobile users.  The move marks the first of its kind for a US-based carrier, joining 3UK and Sony Ericsson who’ve forged similar partnerships with GetJar in the recent past.

The company has placed heavy emphasis on partnering with carriers and device makers in an attempt to strengthen its reach and provide more value for the developers creating apps for its catalog.  “Carriers and phone makers realize they don’t have to own their own app stores — what’s really important is to give access to applications to consumers,” GetJar founder and CEO Ilja Laurs said in a recent statement.  “It’s not in the spirit of the American tradition to force consumers to shop in one place, so it’s very rewarding to see an American carrier offering this kind of choice.”

It’s a smart move on Sprint’s part, being the first of the major US carriers to offer a complete end-to-end mobile app store.  The others will likely integrate something similar, though Sprint has the right idea in offering something that can give subscribers immediate satisfaction and value from the beginning.  As Blackberry and others have figured out, building an app store from the ground up requires a lot of work and strategy.  When focusing on one type of device or OS, fragmentation becomes a problem, but with GetJar’s solution, it’s a non-issue, and is likely the reason Sprint decided to initiate the partnership.  It should be interesting to see if the others follow in its footsteps, or opt to take the long-road instead.