Mobile VAS company, MoMagic has said that it has developed an app store for apps based on chipset manufacturer, MediaTek’s MRE ( Maui Runtime Environment) platform. The store will allow developers to distribute and monetize ‘smartphone-like’ apps for featurephones based on MediaTek chipsets and will be launched with a number of MRE Applications in areas like Utility, Social Networking Sites, Games, Entertainment and others, the company said in a press statement. There is no information on when it will go live and which handsets will be supported; we’ve asked MoMagic for an interview, and will update the post in case we hear from them.
– Expected Development: This doesn’t come as a surprise, since MediaTek had made an undisclosed investment in MoMagic, last year. Arun Gupta, CEO of MoMagic, was previously a Director at MediaTek’s India operations, and was essentially heading its India business. At that time, MediaTek had said that it aims to accelerate the speed to market and reduce deployment cost for the whole ecosystem including local brands, Content Providers, Operators in the MRE platform. So the move was more or less expected.
– App Store Features: According to MoMagic CEO Arun Gupta, the App Store have the usual app store features like discovering the newest apps, most downloaded, highest rates, and also previously downloaded apps for for future reference. A number of applications and games can be downloaded with a built-indownload manager and one can pause/resume downloads as preferred.
Feature Phone App Store; Why? Although feature phones still dominate the Indian market, developer interest is gradually shifting towards smartphone platforms like iOS, Windows Phone and Android, as the platforms have organised app destinations, integration with ad networks and payment platforms for monetization, and web and mobile front-ends to aid discovery.
In comparison, feature phone apps are mostly embedded or are java based offering limited functionality; developers have to either tie up with handset manufacturers, or rely on telecom operator app stores, and operators command a major part of the revenue share. Although third party independent app stores like Getjar are popular, they’ve not been embedded in devices, thus preventing discovery. If MediaTek embeds the MoMagic app store, it will help tackle these issues for developers; the quality of apps and the handsets that support them will be a major factor in determining the success of this platform.
– MediaTek’s efforts with MRE: MediaTek had last tied-up with Facebook for developing a feature rich app on the platform, a new version of which is expected to be released this year. S Mobilty (Spice)*, another company in which MediaTek had invested, had also announced that the company was in the process for developing app solutions for MediaTek’s MRE platform and had said that the company supports the development of an app ecosystem surrounding the platform. MediaTek had previously inked a deal with Yahoo India, as well. S Mobility and Micromax were among the first companies to introduce MRE based apps.
* Disclosure: Spice Digital, a subsidiary of S Mobility, is an advertiser with MediaNama