PocketGear Acquires Handango

pocketgear logoPocketGear, Inc. today announced the acquisition of Handango, the leading provider of smartphone applications globally, creating the world's largest cross platform, open app store and content marketplace with a catalog of more than 140,000 paid and free titles. PocketGear and Handango are the two largest independent app stores and combined to date have generated over $400 million in mobile application revenues from customers living in more than 175 countries and using over 2,000 unique mobile devices.

With the acquisition, PocketGear's mobile app marketplace has been expanded to connect more than 32,000 developers in the PocketGear Developer Program with over 40 PocketGear-powered storefront and distribution partners, including 4 of the world's top 5 handset manufacturers, 4 of the top 5 mobile operators in the US, 3 of the top 10 mobile operators globally, and leading media and ecommerce companies including Samsung, LG, Sony Ericsson, Research in Motion, Microsoft, T-Mobile, AT&T, and Verizon Wireless.

The reach of PocketGear's direct to consumer app stores has also expanded to include the largest independent app store, Handango.com, joining PocketGear's app store network that includes PocketGear.com, Mobile2Day.de, SymbianGear.com, AndroidGear.com, RIMGear.com, Smartphone.net, and PalmGear.com. In addition, more than 1,000 app developers are now using PocketGear's developer storefront solutions to market and sell their mobile apps directly to consumers from their own websites and other marketing channels.

Upon closing, Jud Bowman will remain as President and CEO of PocketGear and Alex Bloom, current chief executive of Handango, will become Chief Operating Officer of PocketGear.

"Our vision is to facilitate an open app store ecosystem that supports every mobile device, every application, and every carrier network globally," said Jud Bowman, President and CEO of PocketGear. "By combining the two largest independent app store companies, we're creating significantly more scale and value for all of the stakeholders in the open app store ecosystem."

Bowman added, "Handset manufacturers, carriers, and media companies now have a single marketplace where they can quickly and easily connect with developers, source a catalog of apps developed specifically for their supported devices, and create a branded, revenue generating storefront and app discovery engine that works across all devices, platforms, geographies, and carrier networks."

"This is an exciting time in the app store market and we're thrilled to be joining forces with PocketGear," said Alex Bloom, CEO of Handango. "As we increase our scale, not only can we further accelerate speed to market of new devices and applications in a rapidly changing marketplace, but we're also better positioned to help our distribution and developer partners increase the overall revenues per download from both paid and free apps."

Handango and PalmGear were fierce competitors back in the early days of the Palm computing platform. At the time, the later was struggling due to the business climate and a lawsuit brought against them by Handango. PalmGear was acquired by Power By Hand Holdings in October 2002, which later became Motricity.

Motricity operated the site for a number of years and later merged it in with its PocketGear property. More recently Motricity sold PocketGear to Mr. Bowman, himself a Motricity cofounder, in June 2008.

PocketGear is headquartered in Durham, NC with offices in Munich, Germany and Irving, TX.

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