Telefonica closes app stores | Mobile Networks | Mobile Entertainment

Telefonica closes app stores

Telefonica closes app stores
Tim Green


Networks / O2 / April 24th 2012 at 12:50PM

Is this the final death throe of the operator portal?

The news that an operator is closing its direct content portals would have been huge news a few years back, but it's a testament to the impact of native stores like iTunes and Google Play that this announcement was made so quietly.

Thus, Telefonica quietly confirmed on its blog that from today it is shuttering its app stores in Germany, Spain and Argentina.

There were the only regions in which the operator ran own-banded app stores, with developers able to publish to them using  the platform run by Telefonica's developer-facing subsidiary BlueVia.

Now, it says it is 'removing the feature to publish apps to those stores from BlueVia' but that any developers can continue to integrate the BlueVia APIs and 'publish them via any app store you want'.

In other words, we're handing you over to Google and Apple. And maybe Amazon.

A Telefonica spokesperson told ME: "Operator apps stores don't seem to fit with the way the market is going".

Instead, the operator will focus on branded 'store-in-store' portals within the main OSs and explore HTML5 though its Open Web Devices initiative with Mozilla.

O2 was actually the first operator in the UK to open a content portal - that was O2 Active in 2002.