AT&T Adds GetJar for App Attack

AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) has teamed with GetJar Networks Inc. , the industry's largest independent app store, to offer more than 75,000 free mobile apps to its customers.

Users can now download the GetJar app from the AT&T AppCenter to start using the various kinds of apps, including games, social networking, sports, and entertainment apps. GetJar apps are not tied to specific devices and work across different phone platforms -- including Android, Blackberry, Windows Mobile, Java, and Symbian -- so they can be used on about 50 different handsets that AT&T has in its portfolio -- except the iPhone.

Why this matters
AT&T is the second-largest operator in the US and its support goes a long way toward validating GetJar's independent app store model. It shows the value that some operators place on having not just a wealth of applications to flog, but also the analytical tools to track how customers are using those apps. AT&T also fills out GetJar's growing list of operator partners, which includes Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S), Belgacom SA (Euronext: BELG), Reliance Communications Ltd. , Three UK , and Virgin Mobile France. (See Reliance Taps GetJar for Free Mobile Apps , Belgacom Gets GetJar Apps, and Virgin Mobile India Teams With GetJar.)

For AT&T, the GetJar store will make more mobile apps available to more of its subscriber base. Offering the GetJar app store could also be seen as an attempt by AT&T to shore up more apps and rely less on Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL)'s iTunes as it is anticipated that its exclusive deal with Apple could end soon.

GetJar's partnerships with AT&T and Sprint also indicate that these operators are adopting different models for mobile apps compared to Verizon Wireless with its own V Cast Apps store. (See OS Watch (Out): Here Comes V Cast Apps and V Cast App Store Comes to Android.)

For more
For more on the explosive growth of the mobile apps market and GetJar's place in it, please see these related stories:

— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Light Reading Mobile

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