Social gaming platform provider PapayaMobile has signed an application pre-installation agreement with handset maker LG Electronics. Per terms of the deal, LG will preload Papaya applications on Android devices shipping to the Chinese market. Beijing-based PapayaMobile boasts 8 million registered users in the U.S. and Europe; thanks to the LG partnership, the firm expects its Chinese userbase to reach 32 million over the next two years.
"Android is still very early in China," PapayaMobile co-founder and CEO Si Shen tells FierceDeveloper. "Most OEMs only started to ship Android devices last quarter, but now most shipments are Android phones." Shen adds that between 4 million and 5 million Android smartphones are already active in the Chinese market: "It's not just the big OEMs that are manufacturing Android phones--they're also coming from local factories using Android to make low-end smartphones. We're seeing devices as cheap as $100 U.S."
According to Shen, the LG deal is also significant because Android Market is not yet available to Chinese consumers, most of whom instead download applications from local app storefronts. "We're talking with other OEMs and carriers [about similar agreements]," she says.
In late 2010, PapayaMobile issued the Chinese-language edition of its SDK, including a suite of LBS tools enabling developer partners to integrate features like real-world check-ins and virtual badges into their own Android applications. "The Chinese market is growing so fast," Shen says. "For developers interested in getting to know more about the Chinese market, we provide free tools to help localize their games and applications."
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