Feature phones -– you know, those passé, non-OS handsets that account for a whopping 83 percent of the overall U.S. handset market -– are set to join their higher-end counterparts as viable vehicles for mobile applications. Carriers that have watched the app space explode are finally taking steps to make consuming mobile data easier for their customers with mid- and low-end phones. In just the last few weeks, for instance:
- GetJar has inked deals to place its catalog of feature phone apps to both Canadian operator Rogers and Sprint.
- AT&T introduced online services that are aimed at bringing smartphone-like functionality to features phones.
- Qualcomm said it will integrate both Opera Mini 5 and Opera Mobile 10 into the Brew mobile platform, which has non-smartphone partnerships with Verizon Wireless, Sprint, U.S. Cellular, and most recently, AT&T.