Another day, another apps store. Following on the heels on Apple (App Store), Google (Android Marketplace) and Handango, the blogosphere is buzzing with rumors that Nokia has jumped on the application store bandwagon, and is gearing up to launch an app store for its Symbian platform just in time for next week’s Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona. At the other end of the spectrum, The Wall Street Journal tells us Microsoft is putting the final touches on Skymarket, an app for Windows Mobile devices (although Skymarket apps won’t be exclusive to Microsoft’s store).
Notice anyone missing? Service providers and mobile operators.
In fact, their absence in this line-up tells us these players are either content to leave it to the handset makers and Internet giants (a first step on a slippery slope to being a dumb pipe perhaps?), or are simply oblivious to the vast arsenal of capabilities at their disposal, capabilities such as customer relationship data, personalization technologies, and location information that allow them to fight back. In my view, if these players could open up to make all the above available to developers (in a standardized, no-brainer way), then they would cover the bases to be much more than just another application store. With their reach and resources, operators and service providers could be the super shopping malls of the mobile Internet.
Last week I explored this in a post that outlined how Qualcomm and its Plaza Mobile Internet platform potentially change all the rules, levelling the playing field and allowing operators and brands to play a central role in this brave new Open Web. This week I’m back with an exclusive look at Amdocs, a company preparing to take the wraps off an application store platform that ups the ante.
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