Independent application stores are usually overshadowed by the vendor-owned ones, but two of them have merged to create a mobile storefront that is larger than any of them, except the Apple App Store and Android Market. PocketGear has acquired Handango, forming a combined content marketplace with more than 140,000 premium and …
This is not good news
News Flash. The App Store and failing Windows Mobile has ended Handango and PocketGear's business. Handango the larger with more costs was the first to go, picked up for a bargain by the more profitable PocketGear. I expect PocketGear will be gone too within the year.
I do have a sense of impending doom for these independent app stores. Apple have kicked off a trend towards OS vendor controlled app stores - a trend Microsoft is following, and I'm sure that soon the whole industry will have gone down that awful route, closing their OSes off from externally sourced apps. Pocketgear et al will slowly wither as the OS vendors cut off their lifeblood, and they'll be reduced to providing crusty old apps for old pre-lockin versions of mobile OSes, and will eventually just die off completely. It's quite sad really, I quite enjoy poking around the Internet for apps and being able to install just about anything I like. I blame Apple entirely for making the first irrevocable step towards a mobile software version of 1984.