Appstores: Toys or Tools?

The value of Apps and Appstores was a hotly debated theme at both the Telco 2.0 AMERICA Executive Brainstorm in Orlando in December and the EMEA Brainstorm in London in November. Below are some videos from the events:

- The CEO of Getjar, the 'World's second largest Appstore', presentation on who's using what apps and why.

- VPs of Strategy from Amdocs Interactive present and discuss a 'value framework' and App strategy for telco operators, based on a comparison with the activities of Apple, Nokia and Google.

Who uses what Apps and Why?

Ilja Laures, CEO of Getjar, 'the world's second largest Appstore' (60 million downloads per month), presented details of a recent global analysis into the behaviour of Getjar customers.

Some Highlights

An increasing number of Getjar's 18-24 years old customers are switching from feature phone to smart phone, although usage and demographics differ quite widely by country.

The dominant reason that people use and shop for Apps is 'to pass the time'. Shopping for Apps often takes more time than downloading, and 'discovery' is an important part of the entertainment. 40% of users download apps several times a week.

For this group of 15 million 'early adopters' browsing the phone for 20 minutes before going to sleep is not unusual, and 73% of Getjar app users use mobile internet much more than 'desktop' internet.

The App Ecosystem

At the Orlando Brainstorm Scott Adler, VP Strategy at Amdocs Interactive, presented an analytical framework for mapping App ecosystems from user through to appstore and apps, and looked at the strategies of Apple, Nokia, and Google, and for Service Providers. A video of his presentation is here .

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Source: Amdocs Interactive

In a subsequent video interview (here), he describes apps as "lots of little hooks into customer loyalty" for the device manufacturers, and discussed how the future of apps is about becoming much more personalised, taking advantage of more advanced network APIs.

His view is that while apps have started as 'entertainment', they will ultimately become increasingly important to consumers in daily life.

What should the Telcos' App Strategy be?

At the EMEA Executive Brainstorm in November, Gil Rosen from Amdocs Interactive, argued that the best strategy for operators is not to recreate the device appstore, but to create and own the cloud platform that adds richness to cloud services.

Apps & Appstores: toys or tools?

'Apps' started out as a fun thing and the primary motivation for getting them is killing time.

The segments that are now using them are the earliest adopters. Some are kids, but some are grown up kids with highly paid jobs, expensive phones, high current ARPUs, and high likelihood to need, want and try new services in the future. Apps may be the thing they value most in the end, so ultimately, can telcos afford not to serve them?

With the right strategy for Apps and Appstores, operators may have found a great loyalty tool. But will it drive any significant new revenue? As many of our delegates observed, it is still early days and a lot of the winning business models have yet to emerge.

The Telco 2.0 team will be providing more detailed analysis on this issue over the next few months on this blog and via our research programme, in the build up to the 9th Telco 2.0 Executive Brainstorm on 27-29 April in London.

[Ed: Orlando Exective Brainstorm delegates and Telco 2.0 Subscription Customers will shortly be able to access a more detailed write up of the Brainstorm, including analysis of the panel sessions and votes. To join the next Telco 2.0 event, please see here, email contact@telco2.net or call +44 (0) 207 247 5003.]