US vendor Motorola has unveiled an app store for China SHOP4APPS which allows users to download apps to Android-powered smartphones.
“SHOP4APPS will be available on new Motorola smartphones in China starting in time for Chinese New Year,” Motorola said in a statement.
In addition, Motorola has announced a new feature on their Android handsets for China, enabling users to customize Android devices by selecting their own search provider, including China’s No.1 search engine Baidu.
This is the first time ever that Motorola has also opened up its search engine choice to consumers.
“Users will be able to select their search experience from a number of providers including Baidu and others, with whom Motorola has signed strategic agreements,” said the vendor.
The announcement comes in the wake of China Unicom stating on Monday that it had indefinitely delayed the launch of Android-enabled smartphones from Motorola and Samsung.
On Tuesday, the day Unicom was set to release the two Android-enabled devices, Android-developer Google confirmed the devices launch would be postponed.
Google is embroiled in a battle with the Chinese government over the censorship of its search engine in China.
“SHOP4APPS will provide developers the opportunity to market and promote their applications on Android handsets within the Chinese market,” said Christy Wyatt, corporate vice president of software and services, Motorola Mobile Devices. “In addition to our close collaboration with the Android community, we are working closely with our carrier partners in China, and with ecosystem partners like Baidu to provide consumers with a full suite of services.
“These services will include search, email and maps for our newest China smartphones.”
"With handsets like the new XT800 Zhishang from Motorola, we're able to deliver great Android-powered mobile experiences to the people of China," said a China Telecom representative. "By providing them a choice in their applications and services, Motorola is letting consumers in China customize the way they experience the power of the mobile Internet."
A China Unicom executive also stated: "We want phones to reflect our lifestyle and our choices, and the ability to pick our own search sites, our own chat services, our own games, and to craft our own mobile experience is helping China Unicom deliver on the promise of 3G."
Rival China Mobile has also developed its own customized Android OS known as OPhone.