The app store madness continues to spread, as Orange announced the launch of the Orange App Shop. Upon opening, the new store will feature more than 5,000 applications, games, ringtones and wallpapers.
The App Shop will be multi-platform, featuring apps and content for a range of Orange’s current devices, according to a press release. The App Shop includes services such as Orange TV, Orange Games and Orange Maps alongside an expanding catalog of premium mobile applications.
Orange will handle the billing. Anything in the shop can be downloaded and purchased on one Orange mobile bill, so customers do not need to pre-register and use their personal credit cards.
The service is already available, initially providing the Orange App Shop over-the-air to more than 1 million customers in France and the United Kingdom. In January, Orange devices, including the Nokia 6700, Sony Ericsson W995 and the Sony Ericsson Yari U100i (France only), will be preloaded with the App Shop and sold in the U.K. and France. Later, the supported devices also will include Samsung, LG, HTC, Motorola and Research In Motion (RIM) handsets.
Coinciding with the launch of the App Shop, Orange is also launching a social networking platform called “Give&Get” on its Orange innovation TV Web site. The platform aims to facilitate online discussion among application developers, who can publish their skills profile and consult the profiles of others.
Orange is just the latest in a long line of app stores to be rolled out by carriers and handset manufacturers. Current app stores include Nokia’s Ovi Store, the Android Market, Apple’s App Store, RIM’s BlackBerry App World and more.