March 25, 2010
Neil Shah is an experienced Business and Technical Professional, Consultant, and Industry Analyst.
Mobile handset industry growth was flat in 2009 at nearly 1.14 billion devices in sales, but the silver lining was the smartphone category which grew to nearly 174 million devices from a base of 139 devices, contributing to approximately 15% of the total handset sales . Smartphones will continue to grow with a year on year compounded growth of 24% with almost 30% YOY growth as of last year. Smartphone operating systems and their compelling user experience are the differentiating factor. Recently, at the GSMA Mobile World Congress in Barcelona some of the world’s largest MNOs have unified themselves behind the idea of a single platform “Wholesale Applications Community” where mobile application developers will be able to flock in and develop applications for what will theoretically be the largest app store in the world serving a broad range of mobile subscribers.
The currently popular and easily available device-based apps provide seamless access and a compelling user experience with a deeper integration, but at the same time possess a bigger challenge for the developers in building and customizing their app for each different operating system platform and device out there. Whereas the network centric (web browser based) widgets and applications require minimal customization for different platforms/devices with an ability to roll out quickly and achieve scale. With web based apps, the challenge is deeper integration, navigation, human computer interaction and the authentication methods. With huge support from the developer community, industry players and w3 standardization, OMTP is definitely on the road to develop and promote the web based apps and widgets successfully.
So with open mobile getting a green signal, we shall now witness a tug-of-war between operators and the device manufacturers for grabbing app revenues. Will network-based apps or mobile-based apps prevail?
Neil Shah specializes in Wireless Mobile Communications Technologies, all facets of Business Strategies, Interactive Marketing and Market Research domains. He is a Certified Wireless Professional with Masters in Telecommunications & Business Management from the reputed University of Maryland, College Park, USA and Bachelors in Electronics Engineering from University of Mumbai, India. His rich multifunctional experience covers a wide spectrum of technical and management functions from consumer electronics, high technology, education to telecommunications. Follow him on twitter as @NeilTwitz.
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