The FT notes a lack of developers in attendance at the MWC. Considering the dialog regarding ‘system ecology’ the lack of interest from application developers can’t be a good sign.
…absent from MWC were the developers themselves. In fact developers and analysts remain highly sceptical that WAC is anything more than a talking shop for telecom operators angry that they are not getting a slice of the revenues from a fast-expanding apps community that is dominated by Apple, maker of the iPhone, and Google, whose open source Android operating system is used by 28 handset makers and has its own app store.
Gartner, the research group, estimates that 17.7bn apps will be downloaded in 2011, a 117 per cent increase on last year. Revenue from mobile apps is expected to surpass $15.1bn this year, up from $5.2bn in 2010.
Yet while many handset operators have their own apps stores, two dominate. Apple’s store, which accompanied the launch of its 3G iPhone in 2008, houses 350,000 apps, while Google says there are 150,000 apps in its Android store.
While some argue having a large app store is irrelevant, analysts say it is what helps tie consumers to one handset market over another, particularly if you have paid for the app.