While the Symbian Foundation could be lambasted for being more than late to enter the App Store party--given that its OS runs on around 50 per cent of the world's smartphones, it has announced plans to launch a new service that will make it easier for programmers to create mobile apps and get them to customers.
The Foundation's Larry Berkin admitted that the current maze of submission procedures required by App Sore vendors was often baffling. "Getting an App signed off is a bit of a challenge for developers, with the process being less than efficient." To replace this cumbersome route, Berkin claims that the organisation was creating a new system "modelled after the book industry" that would give developers more technical, administrative and marketing support.
The new Symbian Horizon, described as an ‘application-publishing programme', has been designed to provide developers with services such as application certification, language translation services and marketing, and aims to provide a single point of management and distribution for Symbian-based app stores. The Foundation said that Symbian Horizon supported app stores from both mobile operators and handset-vendors in the Symbian ecosystem, including Nokia's Ovi Store, the Samsung Applications Store and AT&T's Media Mall.
Berkin said that Symbian Horizon was currently in development with a number of participating companies and developers, and was anticipated to be available in October 2009. "The challenge is to get more people to download more applications. Even for Apple there are only 11 products on the App Store that have sold more than 1 million copies, and that's out of 50,000 apps. There is no ultimate ecosystem so far."
Meanwhile, Nokia announced late last week that Accenture was to acquire its Symbian Professional Services unit. The unit is responsible for the Symbian platform's customer engineering and customer support. Financial terms were not disclosed.
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