When Apple released their App Store for the iPhone most Sidekick users laughed and talked about how the Sidekick has had the Catalog (aka Download Fun) for years. We’ve been buying, downloading, and installing apps before the iPhone was even around. But as it stands now, there aren’t many phones out there that you can do this with. T-Mobile is looking to change that. They’re basically going to take the Catalog model and make it easy for developers to write applications and get them deployed to multiple devices. And when you buy an application, part of what you paid for it will go back to the developer with a revenue-sharing arrangement.
We don’t foresee anything major happening to the Sidekick platform, as it basically has the capabilities that T-Mobile is looking to implement on other phones. What we do think will change is the quality and quantity of applications and games available in the Catalog. With developers programming apps for multiple devices they will be motivated to make them Sidekick compatible as they wil make more money the more devices their application can be purchased on. T-Mobile is also opening things up for anyone to get in on the action. So you won’t have to be some big software firm that’s partnered with T-Mobile. You can be just some guy sitting on your couch writing programs.
Another interesting thing is that T-Mobile will be doing a revenue-sharing model with the developer that’s based on the amount of bandwidth used. With T-Mobile launching their 3G network, we should start seeing more streaming audio and video in the future. Chances are we won’t see any of this streaming (except perhaps low quality audio) on the current Sidekick models as the EDGE network can’t handle it, but we would be very surprised if the next generation Sidekicks don’t have support for it along with 3G capabilities. And no, we haven’t heard any details worth reporting about a Sidekick 3G is coming yet. If you’re debating on whether you should wait for it or buy a Sidekick 2008, Hiptop3.com recommends buying the Sidekick 2008.
T-Mobile hasn’t dropped an official announcement on any of this yet, but as soon as we hear more, we’ll let you know.