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Battle Royale Imminent in the Messaging and VOIP Apps Space

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February 15, 2013

Battle Royale Imminent in the Messaging and VOIP Apps Space

By Mini Swamy, TMCnet Contributor

The last year has been transformational as far as mobile messaging and VoIP is concerned. As apps in this space continued to gain greater importance for smartphone users, opportunities for mobile and app vendors gained momentum.

This led to an influx of apps and services and a market that was once fairly sheltered but now became crowded and fragmented, a point that seems to be borne out by Mobidia Technology, a provider of mobile analytics.

Mobidia (News - Alert) claims to be well positioned to provide insight into hundreds of thousands of other applications and data- and application-specific usage on all the networks to which smartphones and tablets connect, including mobile cellular (and LTE (News - Alert)), roaming and Wi-Fi.

On the basis of a global set of data provided by millions of wireless subscribers, Mobidia provided insight into subscriber behavior surrounding messaging and VoIP application usage. Apparently these apps were more popular in established and developed countries, where penetration rates ranged from 60-95 percent.

What this means is that although the market is flooded with innumerable apps from different vendors, a particular set of apps appear to be popular for a given geography or country. Figures bear this out.

WhatsApp is rather popular and dominant in countries like Brazil and Spain and enjoys 20 percent penetration rates in China. Skype (News - Alert) and Facebook Messenger are almost equally placed in Brazil while Facebook Messenger dominates in the United States, with Skype and Tang playing second fiddle. China’s app lexicon is dominated by Tencent and WeChat, which continue to push their way into new markets.

To add to the melee, mobile operators such as T-mobile, Vodafone, and Telefonica (News - Alert) are wending their way with propriety and joyn-based solutions, giving more options for subscribers and creating more chaos.

"The mobile messaging and VOIP app market is going to see a lot of activity in the next 12 to 24 months as upstarts, traditional app vendors, and operators battle to drive their growth and work to establish or maintain their leadership in the space," said Chris Hill, vice president of marketing at Mobidia.

With the current app trend set to continue, 2013 will see more vendors, more operators and more newcomers battling it out on an arena that is threatening to become overcrowded.

Edited by Brooke Neuman

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