China Mobile, which has more subscribers than there are U.S. residents, is looking replicate the success of the iPhone App store on a much grander scale. At this point, there’s probably very few operators and handset manufactures that aren’t trying to open up a content and application store on the mobile phone, but China Mobile is actually admitting to it: “We will set up our own shop, and we hope, welcome all content providers to sell their software applications and games and songs and any other products in our application shop,” said Wang Jianzhou, China Mobile’s chairman and CEO, at the GSMA Mobile Asia Congress, according to Computer World.
There’s few details so far, but it will likely support various operating systems, such as Windows Mobile, Linux and Symbian. What’s unclear is how China Mobile will split the revenues. Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) gives 70 percent back to the developers and keeps 30 percent for themselves. Google (NSDQ: GOOG) says it will also support a 70-30 split, but will give 30 percent back to the operator and keep none for themselves. But it will be in China Mobile’s interest to be generous because if the store is a success, it will be massive, considering that it has 436.1 million subscribers and already had a lot of success selling content. The company’s biggest run away success is likely music, which has totaled $12 billion in revenues over time. At the end of September 2008, China Mobile also reported that it had over 100 million registered users for its mobile instant messaging tool Fetion. Its music service had 80 million users and has more than 40 million mobile newspaper users.