News by Andrew Kameka on Friday September 21, 2012.
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In 2010, Vodafone thought it could deliver a better app store than the Android Market offered by Google, so it launched a competing app portal that was eventually renamed AppSelect. Today, Vodafone has announced that it will phase out AppSelect and let others handle app distribution. Developer Community Manager John Wyer announced today that Vodafone has decided to abandon its efforts because customers already have stronger options than what Vodafone can offer. Wyer said:
In light of the number and variety of application stores already available to our customers, Vodafone has been reviewing its own AppSelect service. The review has now concluded and Vodafone has decided to phase out AppSelect by 31 January 2013 as its customers are already well-served by existing application stores. Other Vodafone content services will not be affected.
Vodafone's planned closure of AppSelect comes at a time when app stores are soaring in popularity and content. The carrier claimed that it started AppSelect because it thought it could deliver a more attractive app store than the official Android Market, but Google Play has since swelled to more than 600,000 apps. The Amazon Appstore's arrival in Europe added more competition that likely made Vodafone realize that its efforts may be unnecessary. There's also a possibility that consumer demand was never high enough to warrant the resources that Vodafone invested into AppSelect. Whatever the cause, the company will cease selling apps by January 31, 2013.
Vodafone will announce more details about the phase-out process at a later date, but it has encouraged developers to continue supporting apps for now. There's no word yet how customers who purchased apps will be able to continue downloading updates or accessing their content once AppSelect closes.source: Vodafone, via: Eurodroid
Andrew is MobileBurn.com's managing editor. He is based in Miami, Florida.