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The Other App Store

Smartphone-G

Independent app store GetJar yesterday announced hitting more than 100 million downloads of the Facebook app it offers across multiple handsets and mobile platforms. That figure says as much about GetJar's expansion as about Facebook's growth on mobile devices.

Inside Facebook points out today that a large proportion of Facebook's 200 million mobile users are likely coming through GetJar, which is especially popular in emerging markets where fewer people turn to Apple's App Store or the Android Marketplace for apps.

GetJar also teamed with Facebook to create a simplified app that links to the social network's mobile site for subscribers who don't own a smartphone. (Both Facebook and GetJar are backed by venture capital firm Accel Partners.)

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GetJar, which boast more than 75,000 apps and 1 billion downloads to date, is increasingly making its presence felt in the U.S. Started in Lithuania in 2004, the company now makes its headquarters in San Mateo, Calif. More importantly, GetJar has lately been forging partnerships with key U.S. carriers and Internet players to broaden its distribution.

Earlier this month, it struck a deal with AT&T to promote the GetJar store through the carrier's Media Mall software portal. The move may be a preliminary step by AT&T to lessen its dependence on the iPhone before it loses exclusive U.S. rights to sell the Apple device next year. GetJar would provide non-iPhone users a separate option for apps via AT&T.

An existing partnership with Sprint has already helped GetJar boost app sales by up to 15%, according to Patrick Mork, the company's CMO. And just last week, Yahoo added GetJar's app catalog to its mobile search results to make it easier to find game, entertainment and other titles on the go. So a user searching the term "sports" would see a cluster of sports-related apps from GetJar in the results.

With 75,000 apps, GetJar still doesn't offer the selection of the Android store's 100,000 or the 300,000 of the App Store. What's more, the 75,000 figure is the total of apps it has for all phones, but not necessarily for each specific phone model. Still, its cross-platform model and widening distribution have made GetJar a growing alternative to the mobile storefronts of Apple, Google or other phone makers.

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