Device operating systems

Reliance Taps GetJar for Free Mobile Apps

Reliance Communications Ltd. , India’s second largest wireless operator, is the latest to break into the country’s application store movement, tapping the world’s largest independent app store, GetJar Networks Inc. , to bring 65,000 free apps to its CDMA and GSM mobile phones.

GetJar’s app store is part of Reliance’s strategy to use free apps as a gateway to increasing data traffic, data plan adoption, and sale of other services that add revenue to waning voice plans. Reliance expects mass mobile data plan adoption and mobile Internet use to be the immediate upside of the partnership.

The partnership also represents Reliance’s response to increased competition in India, as well as an expected growth spurt in smartphone use. It is following the lead of fellow Indian operators, Bharti Airtel Ltd. (Mumbai: BHARTIARTL) and Aircel Ltd. , which both announced mobile app store platforms earlier this year. (See Aircel Plans Mobile App Store, Tower Sale.) Both have reported steady growth in downloads and users since launching. (See Bharti Updates on App Store.)

All three are responding to a growing shift towards more advanced value-added services, stemming from both consumer interest and the need to offset declining voice revenues. India adds more mobile phone subscribers each month than any other country, and, increasingly, smartphones will become the norm. Competition is heating up as 3G networks come online and handset prices fall to a more mass-market level. (See Nokia Ups Its Game in India and India's Smartphone Battlezone.)

GetJar is already the fourth most visited mobile site in India, according to the company, and now Reliance’s 100 million subscribers will have access to GetJar’s library of apps through the carrier’s VAS platform, R-World. The store will come equipped with freebie favorites like Facebook , Twitter Inc. , Yahoo Inc. (Nasdaq: YHOO), and Opera Software ASA Mini, as well as Reliance’s own app store, RWorld2.

The companies plan to make the store accessible to the largest possible number of users by installing it across multiple brands, not just high-end smartphones. The newly integrated app store will span 2,300 handsets across all major platforms.

Globally, GetJar powers app stores and provides analytics to Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S), Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications , 3UK, The Carphone Warehouse, and Virgin Mobile France. (See GetJar Adds Cross-Platform App Analytics.)

Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile

digits 12/5/2012 | 4:38:28 PM
re: Reliance Taps GetJar for Free Mobile Apps

App stores are hot. GetJar has a store and is selling into large carriers. 

Wonder what it's price tag might be?

sarahthomas1011 12/5/2012 | 4:38:27 PM
re: Reliance Taps GetJar for Free Mobile Apps

Or, I wonder if GetJar is looking to be the acquirer instead. Handmark would seem to be a good target to help it compete against the PocketGear/Handango combo. Maybe they should all just merge to create an independent giant and take over the app world together!


sarahthomas1011 12/5/2012 | 4:38:27 PM
re: Reliance Taps GetJar for Free Mobile Apps

A carrier or handset vendor would seem to be the perfect candidate for acquirer. It'd be the best way for them to stake a real claim in the market. But, I doubt that GetJar would be willing to give up its independent status and reach.



pmork 12/5/2012 | 4:38:19 PM
re: Reliance Taps GetJar for Free Mobile Apps

Hi guys


Thanks for the great article!  I'm not going to be so corporate as to say "no comment".  We're a start-up after all ;)

What I can tell you is that we're really happy with the way things are going at GetJar.  We're profitable.  Our downloads have increased from 250M to 900M accumulated downloads in the past 18 months and we've tripled our headcount and revenues.  We've also opened our US office and have the best client rostor we've ever head with folks like Google, Yahoo!, Nokia and others spending to promote content on GetJar.

As for acquisition, the reality is we're really not looking to sell the company right now.  Not just because we're having so much fun building it but because we don't need the money yet and we really have a long way to go and lots to do.  But we'll have lots of news and exciting things to share with press, developers and partners soon so stay tuned ;)



VP Marketing - GetJar

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