It looks like Sony Ericsson is taking a page out of Apple's book for the launch of its app store, bundling the service in with the very same platform it already uses to distribute music and movies. PlayNow arena
-- which was originally designed for music distribution and whose movie rental functionality is going live this month
in a handful of locales -- is now being expanded to incorporate applications as well, initially coming to 13 countries and some 38 Sony Ericsson models. Conveniently, PlayNow arena is already well-plumbed to support a variety of blling methods which should make the transition to paid apps a pretty seamless one for the company, devs, and users alike. Submissions from developers for inclusion in the store will kick off July 1, initially covering Java and Symbian before being expanded to cover "additional platforms" (Android, anyone?
) later in the year; there's no word, though, on exactly when end users will be able to get in on the action.