Chinese handset processor company Spreadtrum Communications announced a partnership with online media company Sohu.com, to develop an app store supporting Spreadtrum’s WRE (Windows Runtime Environment) platform for feature phones.
Sohu will use the store, which will distribute its own apps and products from other developers, to deliver rich internet applications and services to Chinese customers.
Spreadtrum said that WRE is a middleware platform for mid-tier devices which enables apps to be loaded and updated post-sale, providing the same experience as smartphone handsets. Sohu has used the Spreadtrum platform to create a complete app store solution, including the related server-side operations.
WRE with the Sohu app store has already been rolled out in volume by one of China’s top-ten design houses, and is now integrated into Spreadtrum’s standard feature phone platform solution. It said it “expects shipments to grow over the coming quarters.”
Leo Li, president and CEO of Spreadtrum, said: "By partnering with Sohu.com, we bring together their core competency in internet services with our strength in feature phone platforms, bringing smartphone and app store capability to the highest volume phone segment in China and emerging markets. This expands Sohu's and other application developers' reach to a larger mobile user base and transforms the traditional definition of feature phones."