This week, Apple passed $10 billion sales in the App store during 2013. Marco Veremis, CEO of Upstream looks at the future success of the app store and how effective it can be with customers further afield.
While Apple has reported $10B of sales in its app store, the tech giant can’t afford to rest on its laurels. In particular, Apple faces an uphill battle in trying to adapt its app model. In its current state, the Apple App store works on a Trojan horse system, where the content is locked within expensive devices and relies on the use of consumer debit and credit card details to process transactions. Due to the lack of access to banking facilities in these regions, content on the App Store remains beyond the reach of a large population of consumers.
For instance Apple’s recently-inked deal with China Mobile—which represents its attempted push into emerging markets—remains volatile. If Apple fails to capture a larger percentage of the consumer base in emerging markets, then it will also fail to create a valid customer base. Growth predictions can then only become stagnant – not good news for the company at all, or its apps. In short, Apple has a lot to gain, but more to lose as well.
To combat this problem, we have seen the rise of the partnerships between app developers and mobile operators because it is the operators that can provide the most appealing billing solution – paying for mobile content via their contract or pay-as-you-go plan. If Apple truly wants to make its mark in the developing world, working closely with mobile network operators will be mission critical, as it is the operators that can unlock mobile content by allowing users to pay for data and apps via their pre- or post-paid mobile contracts.
By Marco Veremis