Traditional apps will survive alongside mobile web, says Google mobile chief
Google mobile sales director Ian Carrington believes there is still a place for platform-specific app stores such as Google's own Android Market following Facebook's announcement it would work with partners to allow developers to create mobile web apps.
Ian Carrington: Google mobile sales director
Carrington would not comment specifically on the Facebook announcement, but said he believed "there is a place for apps".
He said: "The first billion took [Android Market] two years [to reach] and the latter billion took less than 30 days, so apps are very much liked by consumers."
Paul Lambert, senior analyst at Informa Telecoms & Media, warned the Facebook announcement could have serious implications for Apple's App Store and Google's Android Market.
He said: "Mobile operators will hope that working with Facebook could help them create a new eco-system that over time dilutes some of the power held within the industry by the current market-leaders in the application store space – Apple and Google."
On Monday Facebook chief technology officer Bret Taylor said the firm has tackled the reasons for the lack of a store for mobile web apps, which included technology fragmentation and the lack of an easy payment solution.
Facebook has partnered with companies including Samsung, Microsoft and Orange to "evangelise" a single mobile web standard that will be delivered through a web suite called RingMark.
Taylor said RingMark would give developers the option of developing apps for the mobile web rather than relying on closed third-party app stores.
He explained: "As a developer if the phone your customer uses passes the Ringmark web suite tests you know your app will work on their device."
Facebook aims to fix issues around payment for apps on the mobile web by creating an improved user experience around operator billing through partnerships with operators including Telefonica, T-Mobile and Verizon.
Taylor claimed the payment experience is currently "broken for end users" because it often requires a lengthy SMS verification process.
However, Carrington says he is also an advocate of the mobile web and added that the influence of traditional applications could be on the wane.
He said: "There’s benefits for both and I think both ecosystems will have a part to play, but advertisers we want to influence have to grow up and realise the mobile web is just as important to their business and should very much be a consideration for what their mobile strategy should be."
Follow Matthew Chapman at @mattchapmanUK
This article was first published on marketingmagazine.co.uk
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