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Orange Joins Apps Store Club

1:25 PM -- Orange (NYSE: FTE)'s Orange is the latest telco to open its own apps store, which it's calling the Orange App Shop (surely L'App Boutique Orange on home turf!). (See Orange Opens Apps Shop.)

The shop is initially "open" to 1 million Orange customers in France and the U.K., and will become available in Spain, Poland, Romania, Switzerland, Slovakia, Belgium, Austria, Moldova, and Portugal in 2010, each with local content. The service provider is also providing apps developers with the capabilities to create new services for the store.

Other operators that have already opened up their own online applications outlets, in an effort to capitalize on the craze started by the Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) App Store, include Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD), as part of its Vodafone 360 launch, Portugal Telecom SGPS SA (NYSE: PT), China Telecom Corp. Ltd. (NYSE: CHA), China Mobile Ltd. (NYSE: CHL), SK Telecom (Nasdaq: SKM), and Verizon Wireless . (See iPhone Gets Live-Streaming App, China 3G Update: App Stores & iPhones, EuroWatch: Mobile Carriers Embrace Web 2.0, Vodafone Live! Is Dead!, SKT's App Store Aims Globally, and Verizon Opens Mobile Web Games and Apps Store.)

Meanwhile, device manufacturers such as Nokia are pushing ahead with their own apps store plans. (See Nokia Teams Up for Chinese Apps Push, RIM Looks to Increase App Offerings for BlackBerry, Samsung Opens Apps Store Microsoft's App Store Arrives, and Navigating the App Store.)

— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading

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