Vodafone shuts down AppSelect, its AppStore

Vodafone is shutting down AppSelect, its App store on November 21, 2012. Message on the site reads:

‘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 will close AppSelect on 21st November 2012, as its customers are already well-served by existing application stores. Other Vodafone content services will not be affected.

Vodafone will continue to offer opportunities to developers to monetise their applications through services like charge to bill and promotion via our channels in existing application stores. There will be further communication to the developers who currently provision their content in AppSelect to support them through the transitional period. Please continue to check developer.vodafone.com for further updates.’

As part of the plan to phase out AppSelect, Vodafone will redirect customers’ handsets to the curated Vodafone Channel in Google Play or the local app store in that market.

Third party App stores?

While it’s too early to comment on whether third party app stores have a future, Vodafone tied up with Appia to launch their app store and surely had a nascent developer community around it.

This shutdown can mostly be looked upon as a failure to market the app store or for that matter, even create a unique offering for app developers/consumers.

Most of the third party app stores have failed to create a market for themselves and are trying to slice the same segment – which is where standard platforms like iOS, Android have beaten them hands down.

What are your thoughts on third party app stores? Do we really need them?

Update: Below is the update from Vodafone India,

Please note that it is only AppSelect (our Android-only store for European market) that is being shut down. The store for emerging markets (including India) that is powered by Appia is very much live & is accepting applications from developers. The store is now available in India, Egypt, South Africa, Tanzania & Lesotho. It would further be expanded to a few more countries as well in the next couple of months. Our stores in all the countries are doing well and we see a definite demand for operator-led apps stores in other emerging markets as well, where the consumer needs & characteristics are different.

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