One of the knocks on the burgeoning local-deals market Groupon and LivingSocial have fostered has been that its low barrier to entry means almost anyone can launch such a service.
No. 4 U.S. wireless carrier T-Mobile advanced that argument June 15 by launching a free local-deals application to Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android Market. However, T-Mobile isn't aiming to rival Groupon and its hundreds of clones, which include Facebook Deals and Google Offers.
Rather, the T-Mobile More for Me application aggregates personalized offers, discounts and deals from Goldstar, LivingSocial and others for Android phone owners.
"We are excited to bring our handpicked experiences to the millions of consumers who will enjoy T-Mobile's new More for Me app," said Jake Maas, senior vice president, corporate and business development of LivingSocial, which reaches more than 260 global markets.
Consumers may specify their interests and demographic information to receive the most relevant offers, deals and discounts. Upon providing this info, they will receive the most relevant deals from several retailers, personalized to their tastes and preferences, and tailored to their location, T-Mobile said in a statement.
T-Mobile also said it will offer consumers the option of getting text messages for exclusive offers and deals. This service would be completely opt-in.
Available for download in beta from the Android Market, the application is the first nationwide daily deal-aggregation service from a national wireless carrier and will work for any Android phone running Android 1.6 or later on any carrier's wireless service.
The More for Me application will also be adapted to run on other popular mobile-operating systems, such as Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone and Windows Phone 7, later this summer.
The application could be a big boon for T-Mobile's own Android phone provisions, as mobile-driven local commerce has become incredibly popular. BIA/Kelsey said U.S consumer spending on deal-a-day offers would grow from $873 million in 2010 to $3.9 billion or possibly $6 billion by 2015.
The company, which agreed to be acquired by rival AT&T (NYSE:T) for $39 billion, is struggling to keep up with AT&T, Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) and Sprint (NYSE:S) in the super-competitive mobile-phone market.
T-Mobile is also wise to aggregate deals instead of tackling Groupon and its ilk head on. Groupon earlier this month filed for a $750 million initial public offering. Though the biggest local deal provider of its kind, the company owes $230 million and is burning through $100 million a quarter.