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Samsung boosts app store by forgoing its revenue cut

Venture with EA's Chillingo gives 100% of fees to developers for six months, likely to be blueprint for other moves

By CAROLINE GABRIEL

Published: 7 February, 2013

READ MORE: Samsung | App Store | Games

Samsung is testing a new approach to filling up its app store, as it builds a content and applications hub which, sadly for Google, will have an identity separate from Android's Google Play. The Korean giant, the biggest vendor of Android devices, has announced an alliance with a unit of games giant Electronic Arts, which gives developers 100% of revenues from their apps for six months.

This generosity indicates that Samsung may be rich in cash, but it remains poor in apps, compared to Google Play or Apple's App Store. Its deal with EA-owned mobile games publisher Chillingo is likely, if successful, to be the template for other agreements with software and content providers. Called 100% Indie, the program gives developers all their revenues from the Samsung Apps marketplace for the first six months of an app's availability, and after that 90% for the rest of the first year. After that, the percentage tapers to 80% and finally 70% over subsequent years.

100% Indie will kick off March 4. Chillingo co-founder Chris Byatte told Reuters the revenue sharing arrangement was "unprecedented in our industry so far". The standard model, as seen at Google and Apple, is for the store owner to take a 30% cut right from the start. The two giants can generally be quite blasé about challenges from single-brand storefronts, but Samsung is the exception because it accounts for a large and growing segment of the Android base, and currently boasts higher device sales than Apple.

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