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App Store to get some competition from O2 Litmus

A non-handset specific online application store?
App Store to get some competition from O2 Litmus

According to a report on SamKnows.com, O2 is prepped to launch its own version of the App Store for all handsets connected to its network. The project, known as Litmus, aims to provide a similar experience for mobile game developers as Apple instigated with the App Store - which mainly means acting as something of a development platform and silent publisher.

Developers won't be charged up front for creating games (and applications, maybe) for the new O2 Litmus platform, though a 'commercial discussion' will take place afterwards to determine how profits will be shared. Just as it is with the iPhone and Google's Android system (and, for that matter, the likes of the super-consoles) game companies won't need to make handset specific versions of their products.

"With Litmus we're holding our hands up and saying we're best off out of the equation and leaving developers with all the ideas and innovation to access our customers with our help," says O2's head of product development, James Parton, who's heading up the Litmus project.

"It's true that developers can go the device route through something like App Store but our point is one of quality and access to our customers for testing so they can get the service and pricing right. We're also offering a whole range of professional services developers can purchase to tap in to our insight of our customers."

At the Mobile 2.0 conference in San Francisco, Parton said that Litmus will offer developers the tools to work collaboratively with selected customers in a 'live virtual laboratory', so that community members can build on one another's ideas and pool their skills and experience. Then, in much the same way as the App Store works, developers will apparently be able trial and monitor their Litmus applications as well as sell them online or over the air.

According to the SamKnows.com report, O2's Litmus service should be live before Christmas, so if this sounds of interest to you (and it probably should) you can sign up for more news on the official Litmus page. You should also hit the 'Track It!' button for more O2 Litmus news as soon as we get it.