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LG to offer 10 free apps for WP7 handset buyers

Buyers of an LG Windows Phone 7 handset get to choose 10 free, third-party software apps they'll be able to install on their new device.

LG's Quantum handset will be one the two Windows Phone 7 devices to get subsidized software downloads.
LG's Quantum handset will be one of the two Windows Phone 7 devices to get subsidized software downloads.

The choice of which Windows Phone 7 handset to buy has just gotten a bit more complicated, but in a good way. Electronics maker LG has worked out a deal with Microsoft to subsidize the cost of what is says will be "popular" third-party software that users will be able to download free of charge during a two-month period.

In a release announcing the deal, Microsoft put the value of the yet to be announced software package at "more than $30," which is spread out across 10 applications. Microsoft says that lineup of free applications will then be replaced with new ones following the first 60-day run.

It's worth noting these applications will not be pre-installed with new phone, rather, users will have to download them from LG's Application Store, which comes bundled on LG's Windows Phone 7 devices. These applications will also differ from LG's own Windows Phone 7 apps, which can be downloaded separately and are free of charge.

Offering free software with a hardware purchase is certainly nothing new, but in the world of cell phones, doing it with third-party apps is a bit of a rarity. It also gives LG a potential leg up on competitors by targeting consumers who may be looking to save a little cash on apps when choosing between two or more similarly equipped handsets at the same price.

LG has two Windows Phone 7 devices (that are international cousins)--the Quantum and the Optimus 7--both of which will be eligible for the subsidized software.