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Apps vs Web

With commentary by me and others. The discussion became very interesting after a while.

Future of the Web- Can the Web survive in a world of Apps- What does an App centric environment require from telco’s?

You probably need to be a registered user of LinkedIn to see the comments.

Anyway, here are my comments:

Most social apps rely on (and has to rely on) services on the Internet. Not the same thing as the Web really, but it’s easily forgotten. Even games need services for high scores, sharing of results and such. I don’t see that HTML 5 will have a major impact on the move to using apps as user interfaces to services though. Even the ads served in apps rely on services, and have to.

I don’t see that operators/carriers are even in the app revenue mesh, unless they themselves provide application stores. They provide mobile data. Primarily others provide the funneling of revenue for ads, direct purchases and in-app purchases, and completely independent of operators. The value chain is shorter than ever: customer –> ad/app broker –> developer. Hence, formula is simple.

So, if telcos want to be in on the app game, and no one really says they necessarily should (compare to broadband providers): Set up application stores.

True [regarding increased use of data for app downloads], but increasingly users download apps via free Wi-Fi (at home, office or elsewhere), and as you know smartphones typically automatically switch to Wi-Fi if available. That doesn’t say anything about the usage of the apps. For apps that exchange data, that will often be via mobile data, due to where the user happens to be, even if the app was downloaded via Wi-Fi. At least iOS doesn’t even allow you to download larger apps via mobile data.

In any case, app developers need to look into minimizing the data exchange needed (to increase “snappiness” and optimize the use of the data channel) via caching and compression of data etc, something we successfully deployed in an app for personal training: As long as there’s memory left and there’s no newer content, we cache text, pictures and videos individually. If memory is full, the oldest content is discarded. This also means often used up-to-date content is available even when there’s no radio coverage at all.

When the user has a flat rate plan, the operator wins if data use is minimized. When the user doesn’t have a a flat rate plan it’s the opposite, but it’s pretty clear flat rate is the right model, even if capped.