Executives from HTC, Ericsson, WPP and the Wholesale Applications Community have come together to highlight the importance of mobile applications and how they will continue to drive the market.
Businesses need to embrace the mobile platform to succeed as the use of applications continues to boom, according to Martin Sorrell, chief executive of WPP.
Sorrell noted that the average Apple user has 60 applications across devices such as the iPhone, iPad and iPod, and that the App Store is poised to overtake iTunes in the coming months in terms of downloads per month.
Over 81 per cent of applications that are downloaded are free, but there is still revenue to be made, Sorrell explained.
"In terms of revenue generated from apps, we are still only touching the tip of the iceberg. The opportunity for growth is huge as smartphones get into the hands of the masses," he said.
"There are three ways in which apps can generate revenue: by selling the apps themselves; by advertising with apps; and [by setting up] consumer purchase options within the app."
Applications are crucial to the smartphone experience, Chou told delegates, but challenges remain when it comes to delivering them to end users.
"There are monetisation and bandwidth challenges, but the ecosystem will continue to grow over the next five years," he said.
"Mobile operators will play a critical role in the smartphone market and the end-user experience. The integration of applications [into devices] is e ssential."
Hans Vestberg, chief executive of Ericsson, noted that applications are creating a "networked society", and agreed with Chou that operators will play a key role.
"By 2015 there will be seven to eight billion mobile subscriptions, [and] totally different business models will be needed."
Peter Shuh, chief executive of the Wholesale Applications Community, also said that the ability to use applications across devices is critical to their success.
The Community has thrown its support behind HTML5 as it aims to fulfil its mission of providing interoperability, he added.
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