Samsung gets in on app action with premium store

Samsung gets in on app action with premium storeNever one to miss out, Samsung has launched its own Apps Store on Android.

You can't swing a cat in a phone shop at the moment without knocking a couple of Samsung Android handsets off the shelves. So, with the market ripe, what better a time to get in on the action itself with an app store?

Samsung says it offers a raft of premium mobile apps that can be purchased in addition to the current free apps it already offers in handsets like its flagship Galaxy S2.

And there are some beauties in there with the likes of The Sims 3 and Need for Speed Shift HD up for grabs. At the moment, all you need is a credit card but in the future, it hopes to be able to add downloads to the user's mobile phone bill. Which could get messy with so much top-notch content to choose from.

Simon Stanford, Managing Director, Mobile, Samsung UK and Ireland said: "Anyone that signs up to Samsung Apps Store for Android today, will find a multitude of free and premium apps already available.

"In the spirit of providing Android users with the best possible mobile experience, it is our intention to continue to develop this premium service to ensure our customers have access to all the latest great content on Android."

We can sort of see Samsung's logic here: Amazon has managed to do it OK and why should it miss out on a cut when apps are downloaded via Android Market on handset IT makes? It's great business sense. But for a consumer, we're not convinced. Mainly for two reasons.

Firstly, having used Samsung's App Store on the Galaxy S2, many of the games and apps in there are already available via the Android Market (i.e. Angry Birds), so it just doubles up. Plus, you're more likely to stick to Android Market because it has hundreds of thousands more apps than Samsung can EVER hope to boast.

And secondly, it restricts you to keeping a Samsung handset. The beauty of the Android Market is that you can switch phones regularly (as we do) and your purchases are linked to your account - be that on an HTC, an LG,  a Sammy or Motorola.

But good luck getting all of those premium games onto another Android handset when it comes to upgrade time or if you lose your phone and decide to get a different one.

It may help the likes of Gameloft who, until recently, seemed to prefer not to use Android Market if they could help it (presumably because of piracy worries) as the Samsung Market will be a lot more guarded and restrictive than anything Google offers.

But is more choice for the consumer a good thing? Or do you run the risk of giving people too much choice and making it all confusing?

Read more about: AndroidSamsung Galaxy S2

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