by December 1, 2010 0 comments

Anil Chopra and Patanjali Pahwa

As we see more mobile Internet devices like the tablets, and 3G enabled smartphones emerge in the new year, they would be hungry for content. And the best way to serve them this content would be through App Stores-a phenomenon that has already found success in other parts of the world, and it’s only natural for them to flourish in India next year. Here’s what we suspect will happen.

There will be more App Stores
Almost all major mobile manufacturers already have App stores for their mobile platforms. Plus, this year we saw most telecom operators like Vodafone, Airtel, MTS, Virgin, etc also introducing their own App Stores. It’s only natural for other telecom operators to also follow suite soon. In face many others are already in the process of setting up their own app stores.

There will be more Apps in the App Stores
While the app stores from handset manufacturers already have ample content, their usage is bound to increase. Telecom operators on the other hand will beef up the content they serve. For this, the market for developing this content will see a rise, with more companies and individual developers getting into the act and creating more applications specifically for the Indian market.

Mobile VAS Market will increase

Mobile VAS market will get a shot in the arm with the app stores. As voice revenues continue to dip, handset prices continue to come down, both handset manufacturers and telecom operators will look at the app stores as a key source of revenue in the new year. So far, a major chunk of revenue in Mobile VAS came from SMS, cricket, jokes, news, etc. The App Stores will add another significant chunk.

App Stores will become the primary way to distribute apps to smartphones
For how long would users want to download mobile software on their PCs and laptops and then transfer it to their smartphones? More users will use app stores as the primary source to download apps.

There will be convergence of App Stores
App stores from different platform vendors are already creating islands of information. Users having apps on one platform would not be able to use their favorite apps if they move to another mobile platform. This is obviously not a healthy situation, and would have to change. So, some standards are bound to emerge so that users can smoothly migrate their applications from one platform to another. Will this standard be Java? Will it be browser based access? Or something else? It would be interesting to see how things pan out next year in this space.

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