O2 UK Launches Litmus Application Marketplace

Inspired by the grand success of Apple’s App Store, O2 has unleashed its own mobile application store, tagged as “Litmus”, allowing open source community to develop handy applications for its mobile handsets.

Litmus is primarily tailored to lure developers to build useful applications that will run on O2 handsets, and upload these applications to a small community of users that evaluate, rate, and send feedback about the applications to developers.

The company describes the platform as a “community project dedicated to finding and nurturing the very best new mobile, wireless and internet-enabled applications and services”, and it is designed to enable developers to place their applications for testing purposes.

The platform currently features both paid and free applications, along with application ratings, installation and instructions manual, descriptions, and a comprehensive list of supported mobile handsets for each application.

In addition, Litmus supports almost all the major mobile platforms, including Windows Mobile, Java ME, Symbian, Blackberry, Flash Mobile, Linux, and UNIX operating systems.

The applications available on Litmus are further classified under several categories, such as Education, Games, Communications, Multimedia, GPS, Utilities and Various.

James Patron, O2’s head of Litmus has mentioned that if Litmus turns out as a success, it will be introduced in other countries by O2’s parent firm Telefonica.

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Our Comments

Good to see that O2 will be launching an application marketplace. Whether it becomes a success remains to be seen especially as other companies like Apple (with App store), Google (with Marketplace) and Nokia (with Ovi) have competing plans. This could give rise to a fragmented market similar to what's happening with online VoD.

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