PocketGear is the largest third party app store around, offering 140,000 free and paid apps for Android, BlacKberry, Java, Palm, Symbian, and Windows Mobile devices. But while that business model made a lot of sense a few years ago when those platforms didn’t offer their own centralized app stores, most smartphone OS makers today are taking a cue from Apple and building app stores right into their operating systems. So where does that leave PocketGear?
Today the company announced that it’s changing its name to Appia. The company is also going to move away from its roots as a consumer oriented destination and instead become a white-box solution, allowing third parties to develop their own branded app stores.
That’s not entirely a new direction. The company actually already has more than 40 partner sites. But it sounds like the emphasis going forward will be on services for those partners rather than the PocketGear.com portal. Appia already powers app stores for Samsung, T-Mobile, AT&T, and Verizon.