Motorola is quietly stealing a march over Apple in the nascent but potentially huge Chinese apps market. A Wall Street Journal (WSJ) report notes that the US vendor is in a surprisingly strong position due to the fact that it has launched a Chinese version of its application store (Shop4Apps) which, unlike Apple’s Chinese App Store, is available in Chinese.
Also adding weight to Motorola’s offering is the fact that its application store accepts payment in Chinese currency and via widely used payment methods in China like AliPay and through prepaid phone cards. The WSJ article states that Apple’s App Store requires a dual-mode currency credit card, which many users in China don’t have.
Motorola smartphones can also access Google’s Android market, whereas iPhones have to be ‘jailbroken’ in order to use non-App Store applications.
Of course, there’s a huge difference in the size of both rivals’ app store offerings; Apple’s App Store boasts around 250,000 applications, whilst Shop4Apps only has around 800. And a problem for both companies is the huge pirated application market in China; an issue which is driving developers to develop more for overseas markets.