Vodafone has begun rolling out direct operator billing for apps sold through the Android Market, allowing users to charge purchases direct to their phone bill.
Operators are set to see their share of mobile content and commerce revenue drop from 44 per cent in 2011 to 31 per cent in 2016 globally, according to the latest forecasts from Informa Telecoms & Media. This is due to services such as mobile messaging, music, TV and video streaming, location-based services and social-networking increasingly going over-the-top in the next five years.
The world’s smartphone users will download a total of 18 billion mobile apps during 2018, up 144 per cent from 7.4 billion in 2010, according to Ovum. The firm forecast that the number of downloads will grow to 45 billion in 2016.
International carrier Orange has announced an overhaul of its own-branded application store that it said will dramatically cut the time it takes for developers to get their apps to Orange customers.
The most successful browser in the mobile market, Opera Mini, may be making its way onto the iPhone in the near future. On Tuesday, Opera Mini for iPhone was officially submitted to the Apple iPhone App store for approval.
Despite the proliferation of smartphones and efforts of promoting native development and runtime platforms, web-based services are emerging as cost-effective challengers that could take application runtime to the web environment. Not only will this allow the development of cheaper and advanced applications, but it could also shift computing resources and their management from the device to the cloud, which could in turn lower the barriers for enabling advanced applications over non-smartphone terminals.
Resurgent vendor Motorola opened the doors of its Android focused app store in China on Friday, paving the way for the company’s assault on the burgeoning Chinese mobile market.
Social network cum online retailer Amazon expanded its empire with the launch of an app store of sorts for the e-reader market.
As Las Vegas gadget show CES wound up at the end of last week, Intel announced that it too would be going after a slice of the app store action.
Even the emerging market operators are looking for a slice of the app store action. Indian operator Aircel said Tuesday it has tapped up application services firm Infosys to build it an application store catering to Aircel’s almost 30 million mobile subscribers.
Lagging behind its smartphone peers somewhat in terms of app availability, US vendor Palm has announced the expansion of its webOS developer programme to Europe.
The telecoms industry is beginning to see signs of economic recovery and can look forward to sustained, slow revenue growth in 2010, according to analyst research released by Informa Telecoms & Media.
UK supermarket Tesco began selling the Apple iPhone on Monday, at the lowest monthly contract price in the UK market.
Acclaimed travel writer Bill Bryson once remarked: “We used to build civilizations. Now we build shopping malls.” In 2009, that observation became a theme for the mobile space.
Wireless carrier T-Mobile strengthened its ties with the Android platform this week, revealing plans to roll out a T-Mobile channel in the Android Market and introduce carrier billing for these apps.