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Orange app store opens for business

Orange hopes to prise more pennies out of your pocket with a new app store client that's being rolled out to Nokia and Sony Ericsson phones, starting today

You're nobody in this town unless to have an app store these days. Our pet monkey has an app store, where he sells balls of faeces to other monkeys. Now Orange has one too.

You could already spend your pocket money on jazzy new ringtones and Java games at Orange's Web-based app store in your phone's Web browser, and most Orange phones include a link to the shop. But the new app store will be installed on the phone and will give a smoother, faster way to stock up on new wallpaper.

Unlike the app stores you'd find on the iPhone or the HTC Hero, you won't need to register or have a credit card to buy -- your purchases will go straight on to your phone bill.

The app store client is being sent out to selected handsets as an over-the-air update today. If you have an Orange Nokia 6303, Nokia 6700, Sony Ericsson C510, Sony Ericsson C905, Sony Ericsson W595, Sony Ericsson W910i, Sony Ericsson W995 or Sony Ericsson Yari, you should get the app by the end of the month.

Starting in January, it will be pre-installed on phones from BlackBerry, HTC, LG, Motorola, Nokia, Samsung and Sony Ericsson.