ZTE launching cloud-based app store -

Networking and telecommunications equipment manufacturer ZTE is to further its domination of the wireless world with the launch of a cloud-based app store called iMarket at the Mobile World Congress 2011 in Barcelona next week.

The Chinese firm is attempting to ride the wave of cloud success by becoming a provider of applications through its cloud-based store, which will allow app creators to manage content online. The store will be open to a range of apps, from videos to games and animations to books.

iMarket, a name which sounds remarkably like a clunky Apple, will work on a wide range of devices, including PCs, smartphones and tablets. The apps can be used online or downloaded for offline use.

The store will launch with tens of thousands of apps, which ZTE claims are “already available”. ZTE will be coordinator and collector, offering platform deployment, operation consultancy and software applications, but it appears that app makers have more freedom in how they distribute their apps on the iMarket than on rival stores.

The iMarket is already in use with corporate partner China Unicom. ZTE expects it to take off big time in the small to medium business sector. Rivals may need to watch their backs as the growing Chinese giant stomps in.