Russian search engine company Yandex has opened its own app store version for Android devices, and it has 50,000 paid and free apps at launch.
Yandex is partnering with Kasperskey Labs to help check any prospective apps for malware, while several companies are already integrating the Yandex.Store into their devices. MegaFon, a Russian mobile carrier previously used Yandex.Store as the base of its own app store, GetUpps!, in early 2012.
Device Makers Share Yandex.Store Revenue
We think of Yandex as a search engine, but the company is clearly stretching out its reach, not unlike popular browser maker Mozilla. Mozilla, of course, is the company that makes the Firefox browser, and it too has its own app store. One big difference is that Firefox has gone a step further and built its own operating system, while Yandex hasn't yet taken that step — but the way the company has been growing, we wouldn't rule it out.
Yandex is partnering with mobile operators on data intense devices like smartphones and tablets, but also with other gadget makers. Think digital picture frames manufacturers and budget ereaders. It's free for those companies to partner with Yandex, and any revenue from apps sold is split up between the companies.
European device makers like Oppo, PocketBook, teXet and Wexler are some of the companies that are shipping products with Yandex.Store as the default app store. As with the MegaFon deal, those companies can customize the Yandex.Store for their devices.
Yandex.Store is available in eight languages; Russian, English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Ukranian and Turkish.
Striking at Google
As a search engine, Yandex obviously has to fend off the impending influence of Google, and with its own app store, it is certainly doing more of the same. Yandex is hugely popular in its home country, and we're sure it will continue to do well there and in Europe.
As both companies gain more influence, we're curious to see if the Yandexs and Operas of the world will be able to combine forces enough with companies like Amazon to really break Google's stranglehold on so many Internet services.