Sony Ericsson yesterday announced two new services. The company said its PlayNow arena mobile content service will now carry applications, in addition to its current offerings of music, movies, ringtones, games, themes and wallpapers. In conjunction with that news, the company also said it plans to extend its mobile Java Platform into its entry 3G mobile phone portfolio.
Applications on PlayNow will be offered in the 13 countries that currently support the service. In a press release, the company said the service platform, which is compatible with 38 Sony Ericsson phone models, will roll out to further markets and models over the year.
To ensure a wide application offering, Sony Ericsson said it will collaborate with GetJar and provide a one-click access from PlayNow arena to its selection of applications.
PlayNow will start accepting application submissions as of July 1, allowing developers to submit mobile applications to the PlayNow arena as well as to the established online application service, Fun & Downloads. There will be no fees for either service.
The submission process initially will be open for Java ME and Symbian OS applications and later this year will expand to cover additional platforms.
“We recognize that it needs to be simple and attractive for developers to reach consumers and that there is a need for established content channels to push creative applications,” said Christopher David, head of developer and partner engagement at Sony Ericsson.
Sony Ericsson’s announcement is just one in a long line of companies looking to grab a piece of the application segment. Java just announced the opening of its storefront at this year’s JavaOne Developer’s conference and Research In Motion (RIM), Microsoft, Nokia and Apple all have application stores as well.
Sony Ericsson also announced the addition of the mobile Java platform to its entry-level 3G segment of devices. The company said the move is aimed at giving developers another avenue for their content in the entry 3G segment, which Sony Ericsson sees as a future growth area.
“We are confident that extending the Java Platform to a much larger global market will encourage developers to drive innovation and create richer user experiences for our customers,” said Rikko Sakaguchi, corporate vice president and head of creation and development at Sony Ericsson.
In a press release, Sony Ericsson, which presented yesterday at the JavaOne conference, called Java “one of the most robust and flexible environments in the industry,” citing the platform for enabling the evolution of its Walkman and Cyber-shot phones.