World VoIP NewsT-Mobile USA hangs up on Partner Network programT-Mobile USA hangs up on Partner Network program

T-Mobile USA hangs up on Partner Network program

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Less than two years after launching its Partner Network developer support program, T-Mobile USA is shuttering the initiative and will no longer accept application and website submissions.
In an email distributed last week to Partner Network members, T-Mobile USA said "With the mobile space being an ever-changing, dynamic industry our decision to close this program was not taken lightly, but we feel reflects our commitment to support the growing ecosystem of partner storefronts and non-traditional paths to market."

The operator adds the Partner Network website will continue to exist as a portal to developer tools: "Whether it is resources in our partner hubs and service provider sections or the ability to tell us about your application for featured placement, the Partner Network team is here to ensure that you have everything you need to successfully grow your business with T-Mobile."
Talks of the company having T-Mobile 4g phones is also in the near future. In the absence of the Partner Network effort, T-Mobile USA instructs developers to upload their efforts to platform-specific storefronts like Google's Android Market, Research In Motion's BlackBerry App World and Microsoft's Windows Phone Marketplace--the carrier also suggests collaborating with content aggregator partners Cellmania and the Wireless Developer Agency to secure placement in its web2go storefront.

T-Mobile USA unveiled the Partner Network program during a dramatically different time in the wireless industry's evolution. With Apple's App Store just a few months old and Google's Android Market not yet open, T-Mobile promised developers something radical--a platform to market their apps directly via the carrier deck, along with the flexibility to determine their own premium prices. Because T-Mobile did not respond to a request for additional comment, it's impossible to identify precisely how, when and why the Partner Network went off-course. Whatever the reasons behind the carrier's decision, waning subscriber interest in applications clearly isn't the culprit -- ABI Research forecasts mobile app downloads will close in on the 6 billion mark in 2010, up from 2.4 billion a year ago. In addition, the research firm expects Android app downloads will exceed 800 million this year--T-Mobile, with multiple Android smartphones in its portfolio, looms as a major beneficiary of that growth.

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