Tesco.com to create its own iPhone Grocery application

I thought we should let you know that our leadership team have asked us to look into creating an iPhone application of our own. Since TJAM, they have been really excited by the ideas and opportunities that have arisen and feel that we should also give our internal developers the opportunity to learn how to program for the iPhone.

We haven’t taken this decision lightly now that we are fostering a developer community and we would still welcome some healthy competition from you – we’re aiming to create a simple application that can do the basics of grocery shopping well, so there will still be plenty of opportunities for other third party iPhone applications to use the Tesco API to explore grocery shopping in a more fun and imaginative way.

There is some good news for third-party developers though – we have been given the go ahead to invest in a ‘deep link’ secure checkout web page designed for mobile use that will enable customers to checkout with confidence. All third party developers will have access to this checkout page.

We haven’t agreed the scope yet, but we’re expecting that the Tesco-owned grocery application will allow the customer to search for products from categories, and by text searching. It will also access the customer’s favourites list and manage their basket. The software will use the forthcoming beta API and has no secret privileged access to our service so will not present an ‘unfair advantage’ over third party apps.

We have never said ‘never’ when it comes to writing applications ourselves but we don’t want to discourage anyone from writing their own. However, occasionally we will want to reserve the right to step into a marketplace ourselves with a ‘basic’ application.

We have only just made this decision and we wanted to let Tesco API developers know immediately so they know where they stand. All I ask is that developers rise to the challenge and take on our application, now I’ve described it, with something better.

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