KDDI Corp., operator of the au mobile network, will introduce a service in March that enables smartphone users to download an unlimited number of apps for a monthly fee of 390 yen ($5.09).
It is the first such service offered by a mobile carrier in Japan, the communications company said Jan. 16.
KDDI plans to enroll 80 percent of all smartphone users into the au SmartPass service. It said it will pitch the safety of the service by reassuring consumers that personal data will not be leaked.
Smartphone users commonly download apps from Google Inc.’s Android Market and Apple Inc.'s App Store and other similar websites, which offer wide-ranging apps for smartphones.
Earlier this month, however, it emerged that buyers' personal data--including names, addresses and phone numbers--of apps sold on the Android Market had been automatically transferred to app providers.
Although Google said it had remedied the cause of the glitch, which the company blamed on a system failure, many smartphone users were left with a sense of distrust over data security of such online services.
To allay those fears, under KDDI’s new service, the carrier will guarantee that the apps it provides will not cause any private information leakage, while not allowing them to be offered via the Android Market.
KDDI said it will also exercise strict control of such data to thwart any leaks.
In the initial phase of the SmartPass project, only Android-based smartphone users will be able to download as many apps as they wish from more than 500 apps.
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