Touchnote inks global deal with Sony Ericsson for postcard app

Touchnote, the mobile app startup which allows you to snap a picture and send it to someone as a physical postcard, has signed a non-exclusive deal with Sony Ericsson which will see it distributed on SE handsets on a global basis.

The deal means the Touchnote-branded app will appear on SE’s Android and Symbian handsets and integrated into the camera and gallery. On first use users will get offered free product to whet their appetite.

But why a postcard app? There’s no doubt it was Touchnote’s business model which probably swung the deal with Sony Ericsson. Unlike with most applications, SE will get a revenue share from postcard sales made via the Touchnote application. Very few other apps actually general money for handset makers. It costs $1.49, Euro 1.49 or £1.50 to send the postcard to anywhere in the world.

Competitors to Touchnote are mostly on the iPhone such as Postcard, PostThis and a couple are on Blackberry and Android, but there are none on Symbian.

While Sony Ericsson is today no longer the giant it was when it was battling Nokia for the handset crown back in the day, it still sells a significant numbers of handsets to carriers today and the UK is currently its biggest market.

SE is also, we hear, looking at actively marketing the application, as the more it’s used, the more revenue they get. The startup is now aggressively chasing other obvious operators and handset manufacturers. Clearly it is banking on the fact that that the sentimental side of print will continue, especially for pictures of family and loved ones.

And in a significant win for the privately funded company, Simon Murdoch, long time entrepreneur and Angel investor in the UK, has also joined as Chairman. The eight person team is based wholly in London. It has print facilities in London and New Jersey.

Touchnote tells us the app just went live this week and the first postcard was sent from Mauritious.

Interestingly Touchnote does lightly moderate the images going through its system. So the guy in Estonia who wrote a threatening note accompanied by a mobile picture of him naked lying over a rack of rifles didn’t make it through to his intended recipient…