Alongside the launch of Android, Google introduced Android Market in an aim to duplicate Apple’s success in App Store. The thing is, Google as always has less intention to exert tight control over Android, lest the community and ecosystem were stifled. So a large quantity of 3rd party Android markets, by mobile manufactures or internet companies, have been springing up all over the world.
In China, there’re also bunch of Android markets including Goapk, AppChina (incubated by Innovation Works), HiApk (by online gaming vendor NetDragon), Aimi8, Eoemarket, Nduoa and Mumayi. Portal site NetEase also launched its apps recommendation and downloading site NetEase Apps, covering iOS, Android and Symbian (V3, V5) territories.
Though the market seems crowded and promising given the market size for smartphone and mobile internet, there are many issues concerning these 3rd party Android markets:
1). Profitability Pitfall
As compared to iOS apps, vast majority of Android apps are free to download and use. Since it seems impossible for developers to make money off them at least for the time being, how could these markets to count on apps to bring in revenue?
2). Rising Costs
On one hand, those Android markets are unable to make money off app downloads; on the other hand, they have to afford an array of costs ranging from bandwidth, servers and so on.
3). Mounting Competition
Given the promising potential for mobile forefront, the aforementioned issues didn’t stop the emergence of new Android markets, which leads to mounting competition in the area. And since they’re all offering similar services, none of which is really standing out from the crowd.
Taps Into App Market With Venture Fund
Tencent must have realized all those perils. The internet giant launches its mobile app market Tencent App Center(腾讯应用中心) for Android and Symbian platform alongside the establishment of a joint-force fund with venture capital to reward excellent app developers and a mobile advertising system to help developers profit off apps.
At the current stage, Tencent App Center’s advertising system is featuring the recommendation of apps, while in the long run, Tencent is considering leveraging its ad resources including traditional brand advertisers.
Also, the Shenzhen-based company is adding social and community functions to the App Center with the potential opening of the QQ connections to developers.