Even as Application stores are getting into prominence, Applications are rapidly getting commoditized and Applications will need to morph into Integrated services for serving the consumer digital space in future.
Application stores has also brought about the easy way in which applications are consumed (download and use with no knowledge of mobile functionality). While, 2bn apps downloads were recorded in 2009, various surveys put the apps downloads in near future at 6.5bn – 21bn. That by itself is a wide variation, and it only goes to prove that whichever way you see it applications will be a critical growth denominator for wireless and smartphone growth.
However, another trend that augments the App story is the development of integrated services for the “digital living”. Application stores are poised to evolve into a whole new modality, as services in the consumer communication space morph into integrated services. Integrated services are those that work on any delivery medium that the consumer may be using: cable, DSL, wireless, wireline or satellite rather than being tied by transaction to one delivery medium.
This age is coming and will require a different kind of application and a different kind of application store to service it. Integrated services applications offered through an application store will be downloadable from any device, and depending on the networks to which a consumer has access, will work comfortably over any network and the corresponding device. As a result, applications will need to be certified by not only the device vendor, but the carriers over whose networks these applications will be expected to work and application stores will need to interact with more than wireless devices.
As services become ever more integrated, application stores will increasingly be supported by conventional carriers and operators.
The bottom line is that applications have become as commoditized as downloadable music. Increasingly, consumers will worry less about exactly where the application runs and more about what the application does. They will expect that the application will be available wherever they are and regardless of the device they are using to access it.