These days, it almost looks like it's harder to find mobile companies that are not building their own version of app stores. SK Telecom, Korea's #1 wireless carrier, is of course no exception. Here's a short glimpse into SKT's mobile app store, still in closed beta, courtesy of this blogger.
SKT's app store is called "SKT Mobile Open Market." To use SKT Open Market, one has to download a PC application first (called SKT PC Manager). Macs are not supported as yet.
Inspired by iPhone App Store, SKT Mobile Open Market also allows users to download various types of multimedia content (full-length songs, movies, or other audio/video content) onto their phones. As this download happens over the internet, not over the air, users don't have to pay for expensive packet fees. This is a good news to many mobile users, who often have to pay $10 for packets to download a $3 mobile game.
Of course, what makes an App Store an App Store are -- apps. SKT offers 6 different categories of apps -- entertainment, news/life, education, community, LBS, and utility apps. Currently there don't seem to be overwhelming number of apps available on SKT Mobile Open Market, but one can guess the number of apps will only increase, once the app store fully opens its door.
On the other hand, there seems to be relatively richer volume of gaming content on the SKT Open Market, but as the reviewer says, all the games on the Open Market are already available on SKT mobile content site and can be downloaded wirelessly too. What will make the game download section far more interesting are large-file games that will turn high-end phones into full-fledged, Nintendo DS-fighting gaming devices.
So far, SKT's app store doesn't seem to be breaking much of new grounds. It looks more like the extension of PC application-based content download site, which has been around for quite some time. Also, another limitation seems to be that content downloading only happens through SKT PC Manager application -- no downloading via WiFi.