Yandex.Store, an alternative Android app store run by Russian Internet giant Yandex, is going places — as it was announced today that Finnish mobile phone manufacturer Jolla has chosen Yandex.Store to be the default Android app store on all its smartphones around the world when they are available.
Jolla made a splash last November when it showed off its MeeGo-powered Sailfish mobile operating system at the Slush tech conference. The first Sailfish device will cost €399 ($515) and is expected to ship by the end of 2013, starting in Europe with Finnish mobile network operator DNA, which will be the first carrier in the world to stock it.
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In September, Jolla announced compatibility with the Android ecosystem in terms of apps, paving the way for an Android app store — but instead of going with Google Play, Jolla has chosen Yandex.Store.
This means that any developers submitting their Android app to Yandex.Store can get a new distribution channel — Sailfish OS on Jolla smartphones.
Yandex.Store, which made its debut earlier this year, currently features over 85,000 apps in 17 categories, with big names such as Facebook, Twitter, Skype and WeChat all on the platform, as well as games, productivity apps and music apps.
Yandex has been pushing its Android app store to OEMs and carriers all around the world, as it seeks to break out of its mold as just a force to be reckoned with in Russian-speaking countries. Inking the partnership with Jolla is a significant first step, but there is a lot more to be done before it can be considered as a serious competitor to Google’s entire ecosystem.