Sony Ericsson Makes Its Own Android Market Channel

Posted by at 9:13 am on April 13, 2011

Sony Ericsson has created a minor controversy on Wednesday with the launch of its own brand-specific channel in Android Market. The category both includes official apps but also recommended titles and occasional exclusives. It will also be used as a sales pitch area and will be a “highlighted market space” for chosen developers’ apps.

The move will end up partly limiting the functionality of the app. Sony Ericsson’s channel will kick out the usual My Apps section on the Market’s home page and make users bring it up in a contextual menu. Early adopters were already objecting, calling it “presumptive” and noting they were much more likely to check their own apps than to visit a branded channel.

“I feel this is very presumptive of you (some may even say a little arrogant) to replace alter it in this way,” one owner commented on Sony Ericsson’s site. “I agree it would be better to have it as an extra function on the menu or if possible on the screen, but not to replace a defined feature. You do need to ask customers what they want.”

It should be live today but is dependent on individual carriers. “Most” will get it, Sony Ericsson said.

The step is described as a first for a phone maker on Android but could represent a further splintering of the platform. While it doesn’t require a separate download, the step creates an isolated part of the store and could encourage phone makers to offer general-purpose apps they knowingly limit to their own phones. Sony Ericsson’s implementation also impedes functionality by lengthening the time it takes to check for app updates.

 

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