PocketGear, an independent marketplace that billed itself as the “World’s Largest Mobile App Store,” is rebranding today to Appia and shifting its business model. PocketGear was formerly a consumer focused app marketplace that sold apps for Blackberry, Android, Windows Mobile, Palm, Symbian, and Java phones.
Now, as Appia, the startup is powering a white-label content and commerce platform for everyone who needs an app store. And the company now powers mobile app storefronts for more than 40 partners, including four of the world’s top five handset manufacturers (Samsung, T-Mobile, AT&T, and Verizon Wireless).
Appia’s white-label offering is attractive to manufactures because enables its partners to deliver apps to more than 3,200 different mobile device makes and models. Via its partnerships, Appia currently powers more than 500,000 downloads a day from a catalog of 140,000 apps with projections to double by mid-2011.
PocketGear, which recently raised $15 million in new funding, was bought out from mobile phone software platform Motricity by Jud Bowman, who was CTO and co-founder of Motricity and now acts as CEO of PocketGear.
Shifting to a white-label platform was probably a wise move for Appia. While there is still a large and growing market for mobile apps across multiple smartphones that are not made by Apple, many of these manufacturers and carriers want to launch their own independent app stores. And rather than develop these marketplaces in-house; it’s much faster to just plug in to Appia’s technology.