Lenovo Launches An Android App Store For The Enterprise

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Computer manufacturer Lenovo has launched its own Android app store today, called simply, the “Lenovo Enterprise App Shop.” As the name implies, the service is targeting the company’s businesses customers by offering custom management, deployment and publication of mobile applications. Apps can also be purchased through volume pricing.

Lenovo says the app store will work on their Android-based tablets running Android 3.1 or higher, but it will also work with those tablets from other PC makers, too.

One key feature of the new app store something known as the “Lenovo App Shop Manager.” Essentially, this is a tool that allows a company’s I.T. admins to build their own customized app stores which they can then fill with apps that are approved for use by the company’s end users. I.T. can also remotely disable apps when required, identify unapproved apps, alert users, or uninstall apps entirely, if need be.

Lenovo says it modeled its own app store after the self-serve consumer app shops already available, while also making it available as a SaaS (software-as-a-service) cloud hosted solution. In other words, businesses don’t need to provide their own infrastructure and support for the app store – Lenovo provides it for them.

Apps which are approved for the Lenovo app store, besides having a business focus, are also vetted in advance – meaning Lenovo tests them for malware, offensive content and runs them on Lenovo’s tablets to ensure they function properly. In addition to the apps found in the App Shop catalog, end users will also have access to those app found in the MobiHand Universal Android catalog, where volume licensing is available, too.

The move is clearly one designed to target the increasing popularity of the Apple iPad in the enterprise – in a January study from enterprise mobility provider Good Technology, the iPad 2 was the third most popular device category in terms of enterprise activations, followed closely by the original iPad. Android tablet activations combined, meanwhile, accounting for only 6% of all tablet activations, the study found. With the third revision of the iPad (the new iPad), those numbers will again skew in Apple’s favor.

Lenovo’s new app store was announced this morning, but the service has seemingly yet to go live. Update: it’s live.

The company points to this URL lenovo.com/enterpriseapp as the new home for the enterprise app store, but it’s currently displaying a broken link. Stay tuned.