Mobile operators have improved their potential position in app space following WAC initiative
I’ve just got an email from comScore, via its PR firm, about its impressions of app store developments at MWC 2010.The opinions in it are attributed to Alistair Hill, a senior analyst at comScore, a company that provides demographic data related to online browsing, buying, and other online transaction behaviour.
Hill’s main point seems to be that while Apple has pioneered the app store model, there is no need for app developers to be dazzled by all things Steve Jobs. Mobile operators, especially since the launch of the Wholesale Applications Community (WAC) earlier this week in Barcelona, are well placed to give enormous returns to app developers due to the large scale of its customer footprint.
“The Wholesale Applications Community is seeking to address the device fragmentation issues which have been hindering the development of apps for mass market devices,” writes Hill. “If the initiative is successful it will bring great content out of the high end and into mid range devices, bringing far greater returns for developers.”
Apple (points out Hill) only has a 7% market share of application users. “That means that 93% of the European applications user market is shared between other players – Nokia has 37%, for example,” he continues. “Android is gathering momentum at an incredible pace. Application developers must think broader than just Apple.”
Hill also gives some interesting stats bout the revenue opportunity for app developers, which can look pretty good if volumes are high. In the UK, says Hill, the average price of an iPhone application is £1.64, with £1.14 of that going to the developer. “So success as an applications developer depends on volume sales – thousands rather than hundreds of downloads,” he comments. “Many iPhone developers are hitting these numbers today, despite a relatively small addressable market: 3% of EU and 4% of US mobile owners have an iPhone. The potential addressable market created by a Wholesale Applications Community framework could be billions, though achieving something on this scale will take time.”