Free applications like vSNAX Videos make up 25% of the App Store’s offerings
The opening of Apple’s online App Store to coincide with the launch of the new iPhone could herald seismic changes in the mobile phone market.
At least that’s what Steve Jobs, the Apple founder, is hoping.
He sees the online applications store as an attempt to do for mobile applications like games, reference guides and other software what Apple’s iTunes Store has done for music.
If successful, it could fuel the transformation of mobile phones into something closer to personal computers – which many software developers and analysts believe Apple, with its talent for distributing applications coupled with the sophisticated capabilities of the iPhone, is well placed to do.
While rivals may bristle at his comments, Jobs is clear about his goal.
“There’s been nothing on a mobile phone a fraction as good as what’s on PCs,” he told The Wall Street Journal, as he explained how the iPhone represented a rare launch of a new computing platform.
So what exactly does the App Store offer?
Initially it will feature more than 500 applications, ranging from educational programmes, mobile commerce and business productivity tools to games (estimated to be about a third of the first-wave apps including Sega Corp’s Super Monkey Ball).
While around 90 per cent of the premium apps are priced at US$9.99 or less, 25 per cent of the first 500 apps are free.
Among them is vSNAX Videos, which promises to deliver mobile video clips to iPhone and iPod touch users from more than 20 premium media partners including AccuWeather.com, Ford Models, Ripe TV, and MTV Networks’ VH1, Spike and GameTrailers.
Refreshed throughout the day it will offer the latest celebrity gossip, TV show highlights, breaking news, national weather forecasts, fashion and comedy clips.
Jim Morris, chief product officer of Rhythm NewMedia, which developed vSNAX Videos, said the iPhone allows for “significant improvement” in the way customers experience and consume videos on their mobile devices.
“vSNAX Videos brings mobile viewing to an entirely new level by using the iPhone’s groundbreaking Multi-Touch user interface so, for the first time, iPhone owners are able to continue to watch their video clip while simultaneously swiping through thumbnails to pick their next selection,” he said.
vSNAX Videos will be available exclusively in the US and can be downloaded for free from Apple’s App Store.