MobiCart, the free service lets users build a native storefront for Apple’s iOS, has left private Beta so that anybody can sign-up.
First unveiled at the DEMO Fall conference held in San Francisco in September, MobiCart offers a fully customized storefront that can operate standalone or tie into a website’s existing e-commerce content management system via the startup’s open API. But unlike similar offerings, the service is potentially disruptive because of its headline price of free, which could see lots of independent or boutique shops flooding Apple’s App Store and soon to follow the Android Market.
That’s also a scenario that certainly redefines the so-called ‘cookie cutter’ app as what MobiCart is providing is a lot less trivial than simply pulling in an RSS feed but still with the aim of keeping barriers of entry as low as possible, especially via that free price tag.
On that note, the UK startup is attempting to borrow from the open source model of charging for additional services around the core (and free) product, in this case handling the App Store submission process and additional partnerships/support.
In addition to the free storefront creator, MobiCart is also aiming to be a fully-fledged platform/ecosystem with its own add-on marketplace. Developers can extend MobiCart’s functionality to fill in any missing gaps and these add-ons can also be offered for free or, alternatively, paid-for, with the company presumably taking a cut too.
Moving forward, along with iOS and the forthcoming Android support, MobiCart says that development has already started on the next phase of the app, with the iPad, BlackBerry and Windows Mobile versions due out next year.