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Applications – the next big opportunity in mobile space

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Applications – the next big opportunity in mobile space

A mobile phone has multiple forms of use and mobile applications only add value to it. Applications such as the Nokia’s Ovi Store, Android Market, Blackberry App World, Apple’s App Store and upcoming versions from Samsung and Microsoft give independent developers a relatively quick and easy route to consumers.

With the current explosion of new applications, it is expected that the market for mobile applications will be as big as the Internet, peaking at 10 million apps in 2020.

According to Samir Kumar, Managing Director, Inventus Capital, mobile today was like personal computers in 1984. Everything was an opportunity, he said, adding, “Mobile application is seen as the next big opportunity after the ringtone market and promises a revolution in active and engaging communication.”

Commenting on the developing VAS market in India, Ponappa PG, CEO, Emerging Markets, mPortal, said, “The advent of 3G, mobile number portability and high penetration of feature rich phones are the reasons why the application market will get a boost.” He felt that there was a huge opportunity in the bottom of the pyramid markets, where people did not understand what applications were. At the same time, he stressed that technology had to be simplified in order to create the need and to tap the rural market.

“Facebook, Pandora, weather applications, Google search and Google maps are the most popular applications,” informed Vijaykumar Radhakrishnan, Chief Technology Officer, Dot Com Infoway, citing the most downloaded applications on mobile.

Much has been said about the need for the print format to co-exist with digital. In order to simplify the magazine reading experience, DCI Mobile Studios is in the pre-launch stage of its magazine application, called Magzter. Throwing light on this application, CR Venkatesh, Managing Director & CEO, Dot Com Infoway, said, “Magzter started with the Indian and the Asian markets. Currently, we have Galatta Cinema, Media Voice, Tehelka, and Global Gujarati as our clients in India.”

However, Magzter as a policy has no exclusive contracts with anyone, thereby allowing the magazine to be on various applications. “That gives me a challenge to keep innovating. If I don’t innovate, the client will leave me and the clients like that proposition,” Venkatesh added.

He further noted that it was difficult to convince publishers in the Indian market to go on the digital platform, while those in the West embraced this as an opportunity. He was confident that with the launch of new tablets, smart phones, and spread of 3G, almost every magazine would want to go digital.

Meanwhile on the aspect of managing accounts, Probir Roy, Co-founder, Paymate, pointed out that the mobile phone was quickly replacing the plastic money concept. At the same time, he stressed on the need for banks to have a strict security policy to ensure foolproof transactions.

Dot Com Infoway’s Radhakrishnan asserted, “Applications is the next big opportunity after ringtones in the mobile space.”

The industry experts were sharing their knowledge and expertise at the Mobile Applications Conference India 2011, which was held in Mumbai on February 19. This day-long conference explored new opportunities that are emerging in the mobile applications space and sought to some light on where the mobile industry is headed and how entrepreneurs and developers can take advantage of that.

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