Sony Ericsson takes cues from Apple, RIM app store pricing

Sony Ericsson opened its PlayNow Arena app store to developers, taking elements from both Apple and Blackberry maker Research In Motion’s pricing models.

The company is sharing 70 percent of revenues after taxes and service charges, mirroring Apple. However, it’s setting a minimum price for paid apps of about 3 euros across euro-zone countries and 3 pounds in the U.K. Following in Research in Motion’s footsteps, the price floor is conceivably a protection against shoddy apps and is meant to raise overall quality in the store at the expense of volume.

Developers can distribute content for free, but they need a separate distribution agreement if they want an advertising-based model. Sony Ericsson also asks for special agreements if developers want freemium or subscription models. Buyers can pay for low-priced apps with SMS and can use a credit card for apps at higher price tiers.

It doesn’t cost anything to submit an app, and developers can send them to both of Sony Ericsson’s stores: the newer PlayNow Arena, which is available in 17 countries, and the traditional Fun & Downloads carrier deck, which launched in 2003 and reaches more than 200 million phones.

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