Sponsored By

Operator-run app stores risk fragmentation

Carriers risk creating more fragmentation in the mobile application space if they seek to replicate the app store model pioneered by Apple that is causing such a stir in the industry at present.

James Middleton

April 24, 2009

2 Min Read
Operator-run app stores risk fragmentation
Operator run app stores risk fragmentation

Carriers risk creating more fragmentation in the mobile application space if they seek to replicate the app store model pioneered by Apple that is causing such a stir in the industry at present.

Mobile messaging firm Airwide Solutions recently commissioned research, carried out by analyst mobileSquared, which found that all operators expect to keep some degree of control over app store environments.

While around 45 per cent of mobile operators expect to directly control less than 10 per cent of the apps and services made available via the app store model, those who plan to control 20-30 per cent amount to around 36 per cent of global carriers.

But the research predicts that efforts to control this content risks significantly increasing the amount of fragmentation that application developers and publishers will need to address if they want to deploy services across multiple operators and on multiple handsets.

On the back of this research, Airwide argues that the present lack of standards has left a gap to be filled by a platform capable of enabling the consistent roll out of these applications and services. Enter Airwide’s Open Services Framework, which adopts a cloud computing model to allow new applications to hook into services that use location, presence, subscriber profiles, mobile internet, and other operator assets without disrupting the core network and infrastructure.

Speaking to telecoms.com recently, Jay Seaton, Airwide’s chief marketing officer said that it presently takes an operator around 18 months to roll out a new application that hooks into various network services, but the company’s latest offering can cut that time by up to 75 per cent.

However, the operator community still has some work to do to push the app store concept out to the mass market. Despite the success of Apple’s own App Store, which has used a marketing campaign championing the discovery of new applications, only 24 per cent of consumers seem to know what an app store is.

However, when the benefits of an app store-like experience were explained, over 50 per cent of respondents said they would want to have an app store accessible from their phone. The survey asked 1,000 UK mobile subscribers their opinions on the app store concept and found that there is demand for applications beyond games, music and video. But with less than 25 per cent of UK subscribers owning a high end handset or smartphone, one of the major challenges faced by operators in the short term will be how they can deliver an app store experience to mass market handsets.

About the Author(s)

James Middleton

James Middleton is managing editor of telecoms.com | Follow him @telecomsjames

Get the latest news straight to your inbox.
Register for the Telecoms.com newsletter here.

You May Also Like