Parks Associates Blog

Monday, February 15, 2010

Mobile Operators Are Taking Apps Store Seriously

In a sign that mobile operators begin to recognize the downloadable mobile apps market as a viable opportunity and view the handset makers’ aggressiveness in this area as a credible threat, twenty-four operators announced their Wholesale Applications Community initiative today at the MWC event in Barcelona. We warned as early as in our November 2008 industry report "mobile Imaging" that operators need to come up with counter measures to prevent others from using app stores as a Trojan horse into their walled garden and their action today finally echoed our sentiment. This initiative appears to build on the Joint Innovation Lab, an initiative launched in April 2009 by Verizon Wireless, Softbank, Vodafone, and China Mobile. This time, more operators joined, so did GSMA. This move will certainly stir up the competition in the mobile app market. But whether it will eventually knock off Apple from the throne is anyone’s guess. Operators have already lost almost 18 months in this race and it may take another 18 months for this initiative to actually work. By then, consumers might make up their mind already.

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