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Symbian Horizon: Dialing Developers

Late on July 15, mobile software maker Symbian previewed Symbian Horizon, an application-publishing program that would make it easier for developers to publish apps in multiple carrier and handset makers?app stores.

In effect, Symbian is trying to come up with an alternative to creating its own app store. After all, so many app store have already launched in the past few months. Just on July 14, LG unveiled its own app store. Dozens of carriers and gadget makers are soon expected to launch storefronts peddling their app wares. Instead of competing with all these efforts, Symbian is trying to partner with them.

To become available in October, Horizon will provide developers with access to a slew of operators and handset makers selling phones based on Symbian’s software. Using Horizon, a developer may be able to publish an application into multiple app stores at once. The set-up would cut time to market and make Symbian more attractive to developers looking for a large addressable market.

Much will depend, of course, on how many operators and handset makers join in the Horizon effort. Initial supporters of the program include Symbian’s parent, the world’s largest cell phone maker Nokia, and U.S. carrier AT&T. While that’s a good start, Symbian needs to add a lot more partners to get this program off the ground.

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