SKT opens app store

SK Telecom today opened Korea’s first operator-based mobile apps store, with plans to take it global by 2011.
The T Store offers more than 6,500 applications, games and other content. It is open to all SK Telecom customers and by year-end will be accessible to customers of rival carriers using smartphones, a spokesperson said.
It can be accessed by more than 100 different devices equipped with WIPI (Wireless Internet Platform for Interoperability), a middleware platform installed in all Korean phones.
The carrier will take a 30% commission on all content sales, the same as in the Apple store, and aims to top KRW 1 trillion ($811 million) in sales by 2013.
SKT said it would “actively invest” in venture companies and developers to secure high-quality game content. It is offering free registration to application developers between now and the end of the year.
“SK Telecom’s T Store will prove to be a differentiated service as it leverages the company’s broad know-how acquired through multiple years of experience in the mobile Internet field,” said Se-Hyun Oh, president of SKT’s C&I business.
Korean handset makers LG and Samsung have also started rolling out app stores. LG has launched its store in southeast Asia, while Samsung is set to open its English and French storefronts on September 14.