O2 is giving companies more ways to market themselves to its 22 million customers by offering them the opportunity to preload apps on its smartphones and launching a portable "app folder".
At Mobile World Congress this week, O2 announced it will pre-install eBay apps on most of its smartphones and mid-market devices in a multi-year deal that will launch in the UK in the summer.
O2 will take a cut of any transactions made on the preloaded app and is looking to repeat the process with other brands that align with its customer base, using different revenue formats.
O2 will also install a folder on each handset that will hold preloaded apps and enable new downloads. When customers upgrade their handset they will be able to transport the folder to another device or app-enabled TV.
Glyn Povah, head of content marketing at O2, says the new launches, which also include an O2 app store, offer big brands a quality distribution package.
He adds: "My main objective is to get brands that customers know and love in front of them. We will work with brands to drive value, through preloaded apps or in the app store folder so that access for customers is easy."
Last week O2 revealed it was applying to the financial regulator for an emoney licence that will allow it to launch a virtual "wallet" app to enable contactless payment.
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