As NPD recently showed, more than 72% of all phones being sold are feature phones, and though there are a few examples of app stores for these phones, the mobile app trend has largely missed the majority of phone owners. Today Microsoft announced its move to change that with OneApp, a mobile app environment which gives feature phones access to smartphone-style applications.
With applications for Facebook, Twitter, Windows Live Messenger, news, weather, sports, stocks, games, and RSS feeds, OneApp is available on several dozen feature phones: Nokia (3555, 5320, 6300, 6500, 6600, E50, E51, E63, E65, E66, E71, N70, N72, N73, N78, N80, N81, N82, N85, N95, N96) Samsung (U900, Soul) and Sony Ericsson (C510, C902, C905, G705,K610i, K800i, K805i, T650i, W200i, W580i, W595, W660i, W980.)
The OneApp environment is only 150KB in size and utilizes server-side processing and storage to improve overall performance not unlike the rendering technique used to speed up Opera Mobile. The apps themselves are less than 30KB in size.
Microsoft is focusing on developing markets with OneApp, and today announced that a partnership with South Africa’s Blue Label Telecoms will allow customers to download OneApp for free. Other markets have not yet been announced, but Microsoft says it plans to deliver OneApp to more countries in 2010.
Microsoft has also said that there will be a OneApp developer kit released by the end of 2009.