Time to uninstall? Motorola’s Shop4Apps for China.
It’s been a nightmare year for phone-maker Motorola (NASDAQ:GOOG), particularly in China. And now this rough year is ending on even more of a downer with Motorola closing Shop4Apps, its flagship Android app store for selected emerging markets.
Shop4Apps is still online (see here), but Chinese-language tech blogs, such as PCpop, have just noticed that the Motorola-run store is no longer taking Android app submissions. Instead, Motorola’s store – and its customers – will be handed over to a Beijing-based company called Crossmo. After digging around, we’ve found a notice on the Crossmo site saying that “Shop4Apps closed on December 26th, 2012,” and that the new third-party store is welcoming app developers to this renamed platform. We’ve also reached out to Motorola representatives in Beijing, and will update if we hear back.
Motorola heralded Shop4Apps as one of the best things about its smartphone ecosystem, enabling its Android phone users in China to buy apps – something that can’t be done on Google Play in China, and paid apps support is also missing from the numerous indie app stores in the country. Motorola’s app store opened in January 2010.
Despite selling some good-looking hardware that’s well adapted to the Chinese market (like this one with a 13-megapixel camera), Motorola’s sales have plummeted in China. It could be said that this is due to very uncompetitive prices, as Chinese-brand phone-makers are making similarly specced Android phones at a much lower price-point. Indeed, we reported yesterday that an amazing 157 million Android smartphones will be sold in China in 2012, but 61 percent of them will be from domestic phone-makers like Lenovo and Huawei. Much of the rest are likely Samsung devices.
Also, Motorola’s massive job cuts earlier this year were met with protests in China before settlements were reached. Motorola is thought to have laid off 1,000 of its 5,000 China-based workers.
The post Motorola Tops a Nightmare Year with Closure of its Chinese App Store appeared first on Tech in Asia.
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