About 18 months ago I first talked publicly about Pandora for Windows Mobile. What followed was a lesson in the perils associated with talking about unreleased products. Over the many (many) months that followed I was called to task by quite a few Windows Mobile enthusiasts that were anxious to be able to take Pandora with them. As we released Pandora for more and more phones (nearly 40 different models today) the criticism became more and more pointed. Here’s how I described the situation some months ago on a Windows Mobile message board:
The full story here is that back almost two years ago we started building a Windows Mobile build of Pandora for the original Blackjack. At the same time working on establishing direct relationships with the carriers. About the time we got the Windows Mobile client into an alpha state, our deals with Sprint (and then later AT&T) came through. With those deals in place we started shifting our mobile development priorities to sync up with what the carriers wanted us to do — without exception that was to so-called “feature phones” and not smart phones. Pandora is still a small startup, so we had to shift our mobile team away from Windows Mobile and onto getting Pandora up and running on the J2ME feature phones. It was almost 18 months before the carriers began to show any interest at all in us adding Windows Mobile versions to the mix. We’ve been actively developing a full Windows Mobile version for the last couple of months.
When the iPhone SDK became available we — fairly i think — saw an opening to ride the iPhone 3G / App Store launch wave and in the process help people understand that Pandora is available in a mobile form as well. Certainly that bet has paid off… but I understand how frustrating it must be that we’ve not yet finished what we started on the Windows Mobile front.
I’m pretty happy to report that we’ve finally made good on my promise from so many quarters ago. Pandora is now available for select Windows Mobile phones and we’re hard at work on porting the application to a broader set of handsets. Here’s how I described it on the Pandora blog:
It’s been well over a year since I first talked publicly about Pandora for Windows Mobile. After a number of false starts and broken promises on my part, I’m happy to report that we’ve now released our first Windows Mobile implementations of Pandora.
Today we’re rolling out Pandora for the HTC XV6900 on Verizon, the HTC Touch on Sprint, and the Motorola Q9C on both Sprint and Verizon. These are free to download and are supported solely through advertising. The entire Pandora experience you’ve come to expect on the web is available on your Windows Mobile phone: create stations, listen, give feedback, QuickMix, etc.
In cooperation with AT&T we are also launching Pandora support for three additional Windows Mobile phones: the Samsung Epix, the LG Incite, and HTC Fuze. AT&T has decided to make these versions of Pandora available on a monthly subscription basis.
To get started with Pandora on your HTC Touch, HTC XV6900, Motorola Q9C, LG Incite, HTC Fuze, or Samsung Epix simply visit http://www.pandora.com using Mobile Internet Explorer on your smartphone and follow the installation instructions.
We’re continuing the work required to bring Pandora to a broader range of Windows Mobile handsets. Keep your eye on this blog and this page for updates on new handsets.
For those of you that have been following along for all of this time, I thank you for your patience. Hope you enjoy the Pandora experience on your Windows Mobile phone.