If you’re an app developer then we don’t need to tell you that getting your app discovered on the Apple, Google, Microsoft and BlackBerry official app store can be incredibly difficult. There are of course many different ways to promote your app. We’ve already discussed all the different app marketing resources and techniques you can use, given you a list of app promotion companies and guided through the murky world of app store optimisation. But there’s one more thing you might want to consider when trying to get your app onto more devices – look toward greener pastures.
Don’t think Google Play and Apple’s App Store are the only distribution channels for your apps, as you can see below there is a healthy eco-system of third party app stores and directories that can help get your app noticed. Some of these app stores will give you a better cut of the revenues than the traditional 70/30% split offered in the App Store, some will let you target audiences in different markets, such as Asia and Africa, or let you offer your app as a white label product. Some may simply help you by offering a less crowded space to thrive in.
You can grab a presentation of all the companies in the list as a pdf from slideshare or scribd. As with all our directory lists, this is still a work in progress, so if you think we’ve missed any cool app stores our readers should know about then please get in touch.
For more mobile app distribution info check out:
The Best App Store directory
You can find more mobile app marketing resources here
Android App Stores
Appia – runs an appstore service The Appia Network alongside it’s cross promotion platform
Codengo – submit to over 20 appstores from a single form fill
AppBrain – Website that helps users discover Android apps across the official Google Play store and other indie stores.
SlideMe – Provides ‘on device’ application store for device manufactures, as well as a web-based platform. Also offers app store solutions to niche markets.
Google Play – Google’s official Android app store, which features over 500,000 apps, as well as music and video streaming services.
AppsLib – Claims to be the second largest Android app store after Google Play. Specialises in lesser-known Android devices, such as tablets and eReaders, that are unable to get Google certification. Claims to have install base of over 2 million tablets worldwide.
Soci.i0 – Android-focused content store that provides apps, e-books (along with its own ebook reader), videos and music. Bills itself as an Android ‘mobile mall’.
1Mobile – Android app store that focuses mainly on games and claims over 60 thousand total apps.
Camangi – Android app store that focuses on apps built for larger 6-inch to 10-inch tablet devices. Claims to currently host over 100 apps.
Nook App Store – Official app store for Barnes & Noble’s Nook e-reader, which runs on Android.
Appoke – Android app store with social features, allowing users to recommend apps to friends and earn credits to download paid apps.
Tegra Store – App store run by graphics chip company Nvidia. Highlights videogames that are designed for use with Nvidia’s Tegra smartphone chip.
Amazon Appstore – Amazon’s app store has been remarkable popular since the company launched its Kindle Fire tablet device. Currently boasts over 30,000 apps, and claims a higher paid app download rate than Google Play.
MiKandi – Android-only app store that focuses on adult-themed applications.
AndroidPit – App store run by the Berlin-based Android website AndroidPit. Includes apps selected by editorial team.
MatchFuel– Not quite an app store, but provides daily app videogame recommendations to Android users via a storefront. Formally known as Andspot.
Cross-platform App Stores
OpenAppMkt – Android and iPhone-compatible market that distributes web-apps built in HTML5. Unlike the traditional 70/30 split, developers keep 80% of app sale revenue.
GetJar – One of the biggest 3rd party app stores currently in operations. Claims to distribute more than 350 thousand mobile apps, with 395 registered developers. Also offers a pay per download system to help developers get visibility.
Handmark – App developer behind popular Tweetcast app, which also runs an app store for Android, BlackBerry, Windows and Palm devices.
Handster – Claims to features over 30,000 apps from 4000 vendors across Android, Symbian, Java and BlackBerry platforms. Also offers white label platform to manufacturers, distributors and carriers. Owned by Opera.
WAC – The app store for the Wireless Application Community (a consortium backed by a number of telcos). Focuses on distributing cross-platform web-apps using mainly HTML5.
PhoLoad – Community-driven website that allows developers to upload and distribute their free apps. Compatible with Android and Symbian platforms.
Mobango – Mobile content-sharing store, which allows users to upload and share videos, ringtone and photos, as well as applications.
Zeewee – Cross-platform app store that distributes HTML5 web-apps. Offers in-app purchasing, direct to bill and push notifications. Claims to have distributed over 1 million apps since its launch
Appolicious – Editorially-curated app directory that helps developers get their apps rated and discovered. In association with Yahoo.
Handango – Independent app store run by PocketGear, offers apps on BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, Android and Symbian platforms. Works with app marketplace Appia.
Appia – Marketplace that creates app stores for clients and distributes apps to a variety of different app stores. Claims to have a combined audience of 250 million, via more than 20 different app stores.
Biskero – Mobile content store that focuses on distributing Flash games and apps to mobile devices. Works primarily across Android and Nokia handsets.
Opera Mobile App Store – The mobile app store run by browser developer Opera and powered by subsidiary Handster. Offers Android, Windows Mobile, BlackBerry and Symbian apps.
Appitalism – Indie app store that claims to feature over 1 million apps. Focuses on social features to aid app discoverability. Owned by Liberty Media.
NexVa – Multi-platform app store that also offers a white label product and works with affiliates to drive traffic .
Kongregate – Mobile and desktop Flash-powered app store that focuses on videogames. Claims to reach over 6 million mobile and desktop gamers, with 56 thousand Flash games.
mJelly – App store and mobile website directory that publishers can submit their content to. Developers can submit links to existing apps in other app stores.
AppVisor – App recommendation service that uses a social network to recommend a set number of apps per day to its users.
AppCentral – Platform that helps companies launch and maintain their own app store. Focuses on productivity apps. Formally known as Ondeego.
Maopao – One of China’s biggest app stores, distributing apps across iPhone, Android and Symbian platforms. Unfortunately it doesn’t look like the website has an English translation.
WhiteApp – Directory of white label iPhone and Android apps that can be easily rebranded and sold to clients.
Djuzz – Mobile game store run by Asian ad-network Buzz City. Claims to have 320 thousand users per day.
AppShup – App store based in India that specialises in SMS-delivered Java apps.
BananasFactory – Developer community that markets your app to different app stores, mainly those offered by operators in Asia and developing countries.
AppCity – French app store that claims over 340 thousand users. Distributes apps across iPhone, Android and BlackBerry platforms.
Alternative.To– Less of an app store, more of a directory of applications with user reviews and editorial ratings. Features apps from Windows MarketPlace, App Store and Google Play.
iPhone/iOS App Stores
App Store – Apple’s official iOS application store and is still thought to be the biggest app store available across all smartphone platforms, though Android is catching-up fast.
Cydia – Unofficial iOS app store that is only available to users with ‘jailbroken’ iOS devices. Most apps are offered for free, but there are also paid apps. Claims over 4.5 million weekly users.
Lima – Browser-based application installer for jailbroken iPhones. Works similar to Cydia, allowing you to download apps not available in the official App Store, but within the Safari browser.
PremierAppShop – Legal iPhone application store that delivers downloadable apps, which can be used offline via a browser-based shopfront.
SexAppShop– Uses the same platform as PremierAppShop but – as the name suggests – focuses on adult apps for iPhone and iPad.
BlackBerry OS App Stores
BlackBerry App World – RIM’s official BlackBerry app store, which features more than 40,000 apps.
CrackBerry Store – Independent BlackBerry-specific app store run by the online blog CrackBerry. Takes advantage of the large CrackBerry community to promote apps. Powered by MobiHand.
BBNation– BlackBerry-focused content portal with apps, themes, ringtone and games. Owned by Motek Americas.
Manufacturer-specific App Stores
Samsung Apps – The official Samsung App store for its Bada operating system, made popular on devices such as the Samsung Wave. Bada is expected to be phased out soon, so Samsung Apps’ future is unclear.
LG Smart World – The official app store run by manufacturer LG. Offers Android apps to US users and Windows Phone apps to users in Asia.
Motorola Shop4Apps – Motorola’s own-branded Android app store aimed exclusively at the Chinese market.
Dell Mobile App Store – The official app store of Dell. Run by PocketGear and contains over 40,000 apps, across Android, BlackBerry and Symbian.
CISCO App HQ – The official CISCO app store is aimed mainly at enterprise users looking for productivity apps and developers looking for technology partners.
Docomo Market – The official Android app market for Japanese manufacturer Docomo. The Docomo Market is installed on every Docomo handset in Japan and developers get Japanese optimisation services for your app.
Lenovo App Store – Chinese manufacturer Lenovo’s official app store for smartphones and tablets, running Android. Though be warned – website doesn’t appear to have and English translation!
Operator/Carrier App Stores
Verizon App Store – App store run by US carrier Verizon. Works across Android, BlackBerry and Brew platforms. Partners with UK operator Vodafone’s app store.
Vodafone AppSelect – Official app store for UK operator Vodafone. Focuses on Android for European users. BlackBerry/Symbian are supported for African users. Offers developers free testing.
China Mobile – The app store of China’s biggest mobile operator. Offers apps across Android and Symbian platforms. Claims a userbase of over 500 million.
T-Mobile Mall – Official app portal of UK carrier T-Mobile. T-Mobile Mall doesn’t host applications, but rather acts a portal that highlight different apps on BlackBerry AppWorld, Google Play and Windows Marketplace.
Sprint – US operator Sprint no longer has its own app store, but does offer a developer program, where you can get apps pre-installed on devices.
Aircel PocketApps – Official app store of Indian operator Aircel, focuses exclusively on Indian market.
Airtel App Central – Official app store of Indian operator Airtel, focuses exclusively on Indian market.
Maxis 1Store – Malaysian app store from carrier Maxis. Supports J2ME and Symbian platforms, with BlackBerry and Android support coming “in the future”.
TIM Store – Official app store for Italian operator Telecom Italia. Distributes Android, Symbian and BlackBerry apps.
AT&T App Centre – Official app store for US carrier AT&T. Developers signing-up to AT&T’s program get developer support and marketing tools. Supports Symbian and BlackBerry platforms.
M1 App Store – Official store for Singaporean carrier M1. Supports Android, BlackBerry, Symbian and iPhone platforms.
T-Store – Content store from South Korean carrier SK Telecom. Distributes apps to Android devices in the South Korean market.
Appzone – Official app store from Indonesian operator Telkomsel.
Turkcell T-Market – Official app store from Turkish operator Turkcell. Offers Android apps and Symbian apps.
Omnitel App Store – Lithuanian carrier Omintel’s official app store. Distributes iPhone and Android apps.
MTNPlay – Content portal from South African operator MTN. Offers apps, music, ringtones and videos to mobile users across Africa and Asia.