NTT DoCoMo plans app store for i-mode handsets

Japanese carrier looks to halt rise of SoftBank

NTT DoCoMo plans app store for i-mode handsets
It's easy to pitch any development within the mobile industry as a response to iPhone but the news Japanese carrier NTT DoCoMo plans to launch an app store seem to be exactly that.

DoCoMo chief executive Ryuji Yamada revealed the company's intentions this week, stating the new platform will be delivered across its i-mode mobile internet service.

The as-yet-unnamed app store will be open to thirdparty developers, with the carrier having control over what apps make it to market.

Opening up i-mode

"We feel the best advantage of the smartphone is its open application platform, so we want to incorporate that open application environment to the [mass market] i-mode handsets as well," Yamada told the Financial Times, adding it will take a "somewhat higher" share of revenues generated on the marketplace than its standard 9 percent.

DoCoMo has seen its share of the Japanese market slide recently, following the launch of iPhone on rival network SoftBank.

iPhone now enjoys a 4 percent share of the Japanese market, with figures released in June suggesting SoftBank took on more new subscribers than market leader DoCoMo in the three months previous.

DoCoMo current sells Android handsets on its network, which – as a whole – accounts for around 50 percent of the Japanese market.

With a fine eye for detail, Keith Andrew is fuelled by strong coffee, Kylie Minogue and the shapely curve of a san serif font.