updated 05:00 pm EST, Thu January 21, 2010
Moto SHOP4APPS works around Android Market
Motorola today took the unusual step of opening its own mobile app store just for China. The SHOP4APPS store will give Motorola's Android-based phones in the country, like the XT800, a central place to get apps beyond Android Market. It can be customized by the carrier and will let them offer exclusives or region-specific apps; like Google's own store, it will remember purchases and allow re-downloads if the buyer switches phones.
In spite of its origins, Motorola isn't limiting the store to its own hardware and says other Android hardware producers can use it as well.
Access to the store will go live before the Lunar New Year next month; new Motorola phones will come preloaded with SHOP4APPS, while others will get it in a free update. The upgrade will come along with a unique Motorola feature that will allow changing the Internet search provider away from Google and towards Baidu or other engines.