Even though we could have a lot of fun making possible new company names out of PocketGear and Handango, I will refrain for the sake of decency. I will tell you that the acquisition of Handango by PocketGear will make the open app store and content marketplace that will have “more than 140,000 paid and free titles”. This will give the “4 Billion Consumers Worldwide” access to applications for devices with:

  • Android
  • Symbian
  • BlackBerry
  • Windows Mobile
  • Palm
  • Linux
  • Java

I am always fearful that merging companies together only decreases their already marginal customer service. For Handango, it would seem that they only have upwards to go. So what do you think? Have you ever bought apps from either PocketGear or Handango? Let us know what you think of these two companies becoming one with PocketGear buying Handango.

Read the whole press release after the break.

Durham, NC — February 23, 2010 — PocketGear, Inc. today announced the acquisition of Handango, the leading provider of smartphone applications globally, creating the world’s largest cross platform, open app store and content marketplace with a catalog of more than 140,000 paid and free titles that are available for discovery and download by the more than 4 billion consumers worldwide using Android©, Symbian OS©, BlackBerry©, Windows Mobile©, Palm©, Linux, and Java© powered mobile devices. PocketGear and Handango are the two largest independent app stores and combined to date have generated over $400 million in mobile application revenues from customers living in more than 175 countries and using over 2,000 unique mobile devices.

With the acquisition, PocketGear’s mobile app marketplace has been expanded to connect more than 32,000 developers in the PocketGear Developer Program with over 40 PocketGear-powered storefront and distribution partners, including 4 of the world’s top 5 handset manufacturers, 4 of the top 5 mobile operators in the US, 3 of the top 10 mobile operators globally, and leading media and ecommerce companies including Samsung, LG, Sony Ericsson, Research in Motion, Microsoft, T-Mobile, AT&T, and Verizon Wireless. The reach of PocketGear’s direct to consumer app stores has also expanded to include the largest independent app store, Handango.com, joining PocketGear’s app store network that includes PocketGear.com, Mobile2Day.de, SymbianGear.com, AndroidGear.com, RIMGear.com, Smartphone.net, and PalmGear.com. In addition, more than 1,000 app developers are now using PocketGear’s developer storefront solutions to market and sell their mobile apps directly to consumers from their own websites and other marketing channels.

Upon closing, Jud Bowman will remain as President and CEO of PocketGear and Alex Bloom, current chief executive of Handango, will become Chief Operating Officer of PocketGear.

"Our vision is to facilitate an open app store ecosystem that supports every mobile device, every application, and every carrier network globally," said Jud Bowman, President and CEO of PocketGear. "By combining the two largest independent app store companies, we’re creating significantly more scale and value for all of the stakeholders in the open app store ecosystem."

Bowman added, "Handset manufacturers, carriers, and media companies now have a single marketplace where they can quickly and easily connect with developers, source a catalog of apps developed specifically for their supported devices, and create a branded, revenue generating storefront and app discovery engine that works across all devices, platforms, geographies, and carrier networks."

"This is an exciting time in the app store market and we’re thrilled to be joining forces with PocketGear," said Alex Bloom, CEO of Handango. "As we increase our scale, not only can we further accelerate speed to market of new devices and applications in a rapidly changing marketplace, but we’re also better positioned to help our distribution and developer partners increase the overall revenues per download from both paid and free apps."

PocketGear was represented in this transaction by Kip Johnson of Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, PLLC.

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