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In recent months, we have written how Android is like the Wild West in China, with all manner of operators launching their own, non-Google (NSDQ: GOOG) versions of the operating system and debuting their own app stores independently of Android Market.
The latest is Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO) Japan, which has just launched its own Yahoo Market to provide reviews, ratings and download links for Android apps.
So far, unlike Amazon (NSDQ: AMZN) Appstore in the U.S. and other Chinese Android variant app stores, Yahoo Market is not actually selling or fulfilling Android apps itself; it is linking through to the official Android Market. But Yahoo Japan says it will start selling apps itself from spring 2012. Release.
Google’s grip on its own operating system is slipping. That is important because it will affect Google’s ability to sell apps, books and movies as it now does on Android Market.
Yahoo Japan is owned 41 percent by Softbank and 34 percent by Yahoo Inc. 2010/11 Android smartphone shipments in Japan beat iPhone 4.91 million to 3.23 million, according to MM Research.
Softbank and Alibaba Group now want to buy back their equity owned by Yahoo Inc before buying all of Yahoo Inc with private equity money, Bloomberg reports. Yahoo owns around 40 percent of Alibaba as well as Yahoo Japan stake.