O2 will be opening its Litmus apps store which will allow users to cooperate with developers, offer input to various mobile applications at an initial stage of development, and even earn money for trying out the applications before final release.
Launched in late 2008, Litmus is an online portal where developers can present their applications and eventually let users to download them.
The company will announce at the MWC Expo this week that it is extending the website to offer enhanced two-way interaction between the developers and end users of the products.
Customers of O2 Litmus will gain free access to the application they try out once it becomes available, after which they will be asked to share their overall experience with the application in order to receive “tangible rewards” in return.
Owing to an agreement with Mob4Hire, Litmus users will be allowed to bid for the application they are looking forward to try, quoting a value in line with the assumed amount of time to be invested in testing the application.
Mentioning the worth of the new move, James Parton, chief of O2 Litmus, said in a statement, “By gaining valuable customer insight and taking on board the good and the bad feedback, O2 is creating, not just another apps store, but a completely consumer-led series of useful applications”.
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Will O2's litmus be a direct competitor to the iPhone? Not if Apple says no. Litmus is likely to remain an App store for other manufacturers and it will be interesting to see whether O2 develops the idea into a market winning one. Why not offer a vendor/platform agnostic version which can be white labelled and capable of running other apps as well (say Android)?