China Mobile launched its application store – Mobile Market – today, according to Dow Jones Newswires. The launch is ahead of schedule and sees the world’s largest operator (by subscribers) venture into an open-access business model that allows users to download music, games, videos and other entertainment applications direct to mobile phones. The report notes that Mobile Market currently supports ten handset models including Nokia, Samsung and LG phones. Reports in May suggested that the operator is seeking a minimum 50 percent cut of all sales from the store, more than the 30 percent cut taken by rival store owners such as Apple, Google, Nokia and Microsoft. The launch of Mobile Market sees it become one of the world’s first carrier-operated application stores. Vodafone has announced plans to open its own store, though it has not specified the share of revenue that it will pass on to developers.
In February, Mobile Business Briefing reported that China Mobile also plans to launch an Android-based software platform called Open Mobile System (OMS) alongside the store. Computer-maker Dell has been linked to a high-profile move into the mobile space via a tie-up with China Mobile on the possible launch of OMS-based devices, and today Dow Jones Newswires notes that Dell has confirmed it is cooperating with China Mobile on the development of mobile products. Dell’s new Mini 3i smartphone runs OMS and supports the operator’s new online market store. More details are expected to be announced at the operator’s first-half year results, due Wednesday.