The central role of operators in the mobile content and services value chain has been a given since the start. Initially, their biggest asset was distribution. Their access to millions – even hundreds of millions of consumers — allowed them to call the shots and dictate the terms to providers and companies lining up to offer their content via operator portals. However, the advance of smartphones changes all the rules.
Mobile operators are now struggling to find their place in a value chain that is stacked in favor of the handset makers and OEMs that run the app stores. Sure, mobile operators can launch a competing app store. But the chances of success are limited. (In fact, we have yet to see a carrier leave its mark on the app landscape.)Read more »