Wireless carrier Leap will push their own APP storefront onto all its smartphones, regardless of the gadget’s operating system

Posted on August 19, 2010

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A growing trend with carriers to ‘get a piece’ of the action with APP revenue is starting to show with activities such as this from Leap Wireless. There are still a lot of unanswered questions about this approach and how to  muscle in with store front’s such as iTunes, but at least the competition is heating up.

(Fierce Mobile)- Cricket provider Leap Wireless (NASDAQ:LEAP) is pushing its own applications storefront onto its new smartphones, an effort the carrier said is to ensure customers can purchase digital goodies through their established billing relationship with the carrier, rather than having to set up a new payment mechanism through PayPal, Google Checkout or other third-party offering.

Leap spokesman Greg Lund said the carrier will push the storefront onto all its smartphones, regardless of the gadget’s operating system. The flat-rate, prepaid carrier recently began selling the BlackBerry Curve 8530 and the Android-powered Kyocera Zio, both for $229.99. Lund said the Cricket app store will be accessible “via an already familiar icon from the homescreen of the device” and will offer ringtones, graphics, ringback tones, games and applications.

“Cricket’s storefront supports purchases facilitated via Cricket’s Flex Bucket product, a familiar purchase mechanism for Cricket customers that’s in line with value proposition,” Lund wrote in response to questions on the topic.

Lund said that “most” of Leap’s current partners are supporting the effort, and that, “until such time as the OS application storefronts will support carrier billing,” Cricket will continue with its own storefront.

Lund was not immediately available for several follow-up questions, including whether Cricket’s app store would replace other stores and how developers can get their wares into the store.

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