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The App Store has been billed as the secret weapon for the iPhone 3G, a source of third-party content and services that will eventually drive demand for the handsets far ahead of what Apple could achieve on its own (I say “eventually” because, for now, this looks as over-hyped as the launch of the Facebook platform more than a year ago: it is a very big idea, but many of the initial apps have been junk and have done little to prove the real power of the platform.)
So great is the long-term potential, in fact, that Apple’s rivals have been rushing to launch or dust off their own mobile storefronts. On Thursday it was Google’s turn, with an early look at its Android Market (the first Android handsets, from HTC, are due to go on sale from T-Mobile this autumn.) Many important details are still being kept under wraps, but it was at least possible to discern how Google plans to set itself apart from Apple. Read more
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