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MNO App Stores

Abstract

Since the beginning of this century, developers have been writing and selling software for mobile devices. Channels to market and the fortunes of the players in the apps ecosystem have changed for a number of reasons: major gains for some players; mixed outlooks for many; the appearance of new and credible competitors, and the demise of others.

Mobile network operators have demonstrated a mixed track record in engaging the developer community in a lasting and mutually beneficial way. By addressing customers through the app stores on their devices, vendors like Apple and Google were able to engage developers directly. A high-profile MNO-led app stores platform initiative foundered, and major MNO groups have decided to abandon their own app store programs as vendors' app stores meet customers' and developers' wants and needs.

This report builds on the findings presented in App Stores: MNO Market Development Strategies (July 2011), adding coverage of the key developments in the app stores arena over the previous year and the changing nature of MNOs' relationships with app stores and the developer community that supports them. The report concludes with observations for MNOs' future role in the app stores ecosystem, with guidance on traps to be avoided and some app store opportunities that MNOs are very well positioned to address.

Table of Contents

1 Overview

2 Introduction

  • 2.1 Background to the Report
  • 2.2 Report Content
  • 2.3 Currency and Conversions
  • 2.4 Further Questions and Feedback

3 Developments & Trends

  • 3.1 Apple's App Store Dominates by Revenue, Customer-Awareness and Developer Engagement
  • 3.2 Android Market Becomes Google Play Store
  • 3.3 Amazon Enters the Market
    • 3.3.1 Free App of the Day
  • 3.4 Facebook App Center
  • 3.5 HTML5, Web Apps and Cross-Platform Tools
  • 3.6 RIM, Microsoft and Nokia's App Stores
  • 3.7 Current Breadth of App Stores

4 MNOs, App Stores & Developers

  • 4.1 App Stores' Fortunes Closely Tied to Handset Platforms' Sales and Market Shares
  • 4.2 Demise of Wholesale Applications Community (WAC)
  • 4.3 Vodafone Closes AppSelect Android App Store

5 Summary & Recommendations

  • 5.1 MNOs Have Consistently Failed to Engage the Developer Community
  • 5.2 MNOs Have Lost the Race to Own the App Store for Consumers
  • 5.3 There is Scope for Developing Market MNOs to Develop Successful App Stores
  • 5.4 If You Can't Beat Consumer App Stores - Join Them

Appendix - Feedback Questions

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