T-Mobile USA is increasing its investment in the Google (NSDQ: GOOG) Android platform even more, by improving the application experience, according to a keynote given by CTO Cole Brodman said this morning at Open Mobile Summit this morning in San Francisco.
The company said that in time for Thanksgiving, T-Mobile will introduce a T-Mobile Channel, which will provide recommended content for the Google Android devices. Already, T-Mobile is providing a so-called “AppPack,” which suggests 34 free and paid apps. The bigger announcement today is that T-Mobile will soon enable carrier billing, which will allow customers to buy apps using their monthly bill, rather than having to use Google Checkout. Venetia Espinoza, Director of Mobile Applications and Partner Programs told mocoNews: “We are making it very easy to purchase apps. Historically, research has shown that with carrier billing, there’s a big uptick of 30 to 40 percent in app or content downloads….We’ve been working very closely with Google over the last several months to integrate the Android Market with our internal billing gateway.” Espinoza said the revenue split will remain the same as before with developers receiving 70 percent.
Beth Goza, T-Mobile’s Sr. Manager for Mobile Applications and Partner Programs told mocoNews that the new T-Mobile Channel in the Android Market will help customers easily discover new items. It will also co-exist with the AppPack, which currently serves more as a library or reference point for some of the must-have apps, like Twitter and Facebook. This is especially needed in the case of the myTouch device, which doesn’t come with those services unlike the Motorola (NYSE: MOT) Cliq. In contrast, the T-Mobile Channel will be updated as much as every two weeks with the latest app suggestions.
In order to discover the applications for the channel, T-Mobile has come up with a solution for that too. Today, T-Mobile launched the “Pitch Page,” where developers can contact the carrier to tell them about their apps. From there, T-Mobile may pick the developers’ creations for the AppPack, the Channel, or maybe to be featured in a TV commercial.
Goza T-Mobile has already been working closely with developers. She reached out to the Android developer behind the “Solo” a virtual guitar app, which was built by a husband and wife team in England. She asked whether they would consider expanding the acoustic game to include the electric guitar. The developers agreed and are featured in the AppPack. “Sometimes it becomes a collaborative environment to take it to the next level,” she said.
T-Mobile said it will have four Android devices in time for the holidays, the Motorola CLIQ (now available), the Samsung Behold II (coming soon), the T-Mobile G1 and the T-Mobile myTouch. In addition to more devices, the number of applications have also increased from 50 at the time of launch to 12,000 (of course that pales in comparison to Apple’s announcement today of 100,000 apps).
Here’s what T-Mobile has witnessed in terms of myTouch consumer behavior:
— About half myTouch users visit the Android Market at least once per day.
— 80% of myTouch users browse the web at least once per day, and 2/3 say several times per day.
— Nearly half of myTouch users say they have