Mobile application adoption in emerging markets will increase sharply as smartphone penetration increases and users seek a richer experience on their mobile device.
That’s according to a new set of predictions from Ovum, which sees an expansion in the use of mobile applications in Asia-Pacific, the Middle East, South and Central America and Africa.
According to the analyst firm, this is due to the increasing penetration of smartphones, mobile broadband, and the ongoing reduction of service and device prices.
As a result, operators now regard app stores as a key factor in growing their subscriber bases and driving network traffic, explained Ovum.
However, the analyst firm added that whilst smartphone users are attractive targets for emerging market operators as they are early adopters, the majority of applications in emerging market app stores are free or low cost as consumers are unwilling to pay.
Richard Hurst, senior analyst of Telecoms Emerging Markets at Ovum, said: “Smartphone penetration in emerging markets is expected to dramatically increase from 2013, and this will have a significant impact on the app store dynamic. The availability of low-cost Android, RIM and Nokia smartphones will see app stores becoming an increasingly important element of the distribution chain.”
He added: “Device and OS vendors will look to establish themselves as the leading providers of apps in emerging markets, emulating the position that they occupy in developed markets. However, in countries such as China, India, Brazil and South Africa, MNOs with strong app store propositions will fight to defend their positions.”