The iPhone 4 Gets a Second App Store

Apple’s iPhone just got a second app store—one you do not need to jailbreak your phone to use. How exactly was this feat managed? Remember all of those web-based apps from 2007 before the iTunes app store was launched? Well, ingenious entrepreneurs Teck Chia, Flora Sun and Tim Wuu have created OpenAppMkt—an online store for web-based apps designed to run within Safari Mobile. The best part? Apple has no control over what they offer.

Of course, paying money for web-based apps might not be your cup of tea. They require either a Wi-Fi or cellular signal and can eat into your now precious monthly bandwidth limits. However, OpenAppMkt does make the process easy, and even offers credit card payment options and adds your mobile apps to your home screen for you.

While the store is still in the process of launching, a number of free apps and a handful of paid ones are available. With a viable marketplace for developers to distribute their applications through, we just might see the reemergence of web-based apps for the iPhone platform. Of course, Apple might try to muscle its way into the market if this proves a success.

Another question also has to be answered. Will developers embrace the web again like they did when there were no other options? Teck Chia—one of the founders of the new store—notes that many iOS apps on the iTunes App Store are actually built with HTML5, JavaScript, and CSS and then compiled into an app before being sent to the iTunes store for sale or download. Long story short? Many apps already available on the iTunes store can be easily made into web apps with little to no modification.

Think that web apps will take off? Can anyone really compete with iTunes at this point? Weigh in with your opinion and check out if you are interested.

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