Airtel Launches App Store – Neatly Integrated with Billing Solution

Airtel has launched its App store (Airtel App Central), which boasts of 1250 Apps across 25 categories (both free and paid applications).

Airtel users can navigate to the app store via Airtel Live app and there are quite a few interesting apps – for instance, Gilli Danda, and apps based on festivals like Holi, Diwali.

There is an SMS Directory App which saves you the trouble of remembering formats and those difficult to remember numbers which are required to query for popular services and information such as your flight details, cross check your railway booking or even find out insurance details [details].

The app billing is smartly integrated with Airtel’s billing solution and one need not buy the app using credit card – the cost is automatically added to the customer’s mobile bill or deducted from the available talk-time.

An interesting development, considering that Aircel has just announced the partnership with Infy’s Flypp to launch an app store.

And post Airtel’s launch,Reliance too has announced the launch of it’s app store.

The first version of the Reliance Applications Store is planned to go live on GSM handsets as early as the month end; however, it will launch an expanded version across CDMA as well as GSM handsets later this quarter. RWorld 2.0 will be equipped with state-of-the-art service delivery platform supporting on-device portals, idle screens, widgets and RSS readers showcasing latest developments across the world.

Reliance Applications Store allows customers to browse and download applications (paid/free) through a controlled environment. The success of the Applications Store lies in the ease with which developers across the world can develop, publish and promote programs and applications through a single mother portal cutting across all platforms and network elements.

What’s your take on the value-chain of the mobile operator’s app store?

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