With mobile apps (and app stores) gaining ground in the emerging markets of Asia-Pacific, the Middle East, South and Central America and Africa – the telecoms analyst firm Ovum predicts that smartphone penetration will dramatically increase from 2013.
According to Ovum, operators regard app stores as a key factor in growing their subscriber bases and driving network traffic. What’s more, the availability of low-cost Android, RIM and Nokia smartphones will see app stores becoming an increasingly important element of the distribution chain.
Device and OS vendors want to establish themselves as the leading providers of apps in emerging markets, but mobile operators want that too, especially in countries such as China, India, Brazil and other parts of South Africa. The reason is simple – smartphone users are attractive targets for emerging market operators as they are early adopters and typically have a higher disposable income than average consumers.
However, it’s also worth pointing out that the majority of applications in emerging markets are free or low cost as consumers have shown an unwillingness to pay for applications…