Applications & Apps Business

Samsung Thinking Games, Video Apps

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World No.2 handset maker Samsung triples the size of its application store in many of its major European markets– and expects even more growth from Wave, its first smartphone with Bada OS.

Samsung apps were inaugurated in September 2009 and accessible by mobile phone and PC.

Germany has experienced a 100% increase while the number of applications available in the United Kingdom, France and Italy has more than tripled in just only eight months.

Associated Press, Electronic Arts, Gameloft, Handmark, MySpace, Namco Bandai, Twitter, Universal Pictures and Zagat Survey are some of the app providers.

Omar Khan, Samsung's chief strategy officer, told LightReading the core mobile applications that users turn to most often tend to the same old web applications – ESPN, Weather Channel, for instance. Khan inists no one buys a smartphone from Samsung just to get ESPN.

But the Strategy Officer thinks buyers might go to Samsung if the Android-based Galaxy S gets a reputation, say, for intense gaming graphics taking advantage of the Super AMOLED display.

What's in it for Samsung is, obviously, a proprietary app. "While the breadth of the applications out there is tremendous, the usage that's occurring is limited to a very small set of applications," says Khan.

What kinds of special applications does Samsung have in mind? One example would be Media Hub to put videos onto the Galaxy S, and advanced, super-cool games to take advantage of the AMOLED screen.

Go LightReading

Apps Clearly in "Freefall," Says Analyst

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Although paid apps have increased substantially in volume with the emergence of app stores, free apps have really boomed, creating a potentially serious problem for network operators hoping to create new revenue by selling apps to mobile users, according to a recent report from Pyramid Research.

Pyramid estimates that the total download volume (free and paid) will increase 7X between 2009 and 2014 from 5.7 billion to 41.1 billion.

Including operator portals, the proportion of free downloads increased from around 30% in 2008 to 54% in 2009, and it is expected to stabilize at around 80% in 2014. "This is a key trend, and it will drive new revenue streams, namely from advertising," say Pyramid Research analysts.

"Attracting developers is perhaps the most difficult challenge for operators given the lead the vendors have established, platform fragmentation and limited adoption of devices with operator stores enabled. In regions where the vendors are already well established, such as the U.S., it will be difficult for operators to establish their own stores. In other regions, vendors have yet to establish themselves, giving operators the opportunity to take the initiative."

Go Mobile App Stores: A New Mobile Web?, Pyramid Research's Research Report