When you’re the top search engine and most visited website in Russia, as Yandex is, you don’t want Google coming in and eating your virtual lunch. To help keep its lunch for itself, Yandex is launching two new products.
Yandex Gets Its Own Browser
One is Yandex’ own browser, available for Mac and Windows computers. The browser, currently only offered for laptops and desktops and not yet for smartphones or tablets, offers translations from nine foreign languages and allows a user to choose search engines.
CEO Arkady Volozh said in a statement that “cloud-based browsing is a next-generation answer to the challenges of the modern Internet.” The WebKit-based browser uses the open-source Chromium user interface.
A Yandex Mobile App Store
The other product that Yandex is releasing is an app store which, interestingly enough, is for devices that use Google’s Android platform.
The store, being developed with Opera Mobile, is expected to launch later this month, with as many as 40,000 apps – including Yandex ones for searching, email and geolocation, among other uses. Devices from Pocketbook, texet and 3Q will provide the app store pre-loaded, and Yandex is reported to be working with carriers in Russia to include their own custom branding of the app store.
Yandex said the two products will launch first in Russia, and possibly expand to other markets in which the company operates, such as Turkey, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Belarus.
Apple Map Partner
The company currently handles over 60 percent of all searches in Russia, and showed a 50 percent growth in revenue in the second quarter, compared the same quarter last year. However, its share of the search market has been declining over the last few years, while Google’s share of the Russian search market is now about 22 percent.
Another product development area for Yandex is maps, as it recently announced a partnership with Apple for mapping in Russia. Yandex is providing the data about streets and businesses in Russia for Apple’s map app, and, for more detail, a user can employ Yandex’ own map app. Apple is also reportedly negotiating with Yandex to become the default search choice for the Safari browser on Apple’s mobile devices in Russia, replacing Google.