Telstra dives into app market with new business

A new player is set to enter the app market, as Telstra announced yesterday its arrival, with a new unit opening to help the company raise revenue and keep up with the changing telecommunications market.

The new software business called Global Applications and Platforms will be part of the company’s Innovation, Products and Marketing sector.

Telstra said the business was to be built over the next three years, with hopes it will ensure the future success of the company in a competitive field.

The development will look to offset the decline of Telstra’s fixed telephone line business.

Currently there are over 780,147 apps able to be downloaded from the Apple store, with an average selling price of $1.60. This month alone there have so far been 20,035 app submissions to Apple, equating to approximately 954 a day.

These numbers have quickly increased since June 2008 when there were only 14 app submissions for the month.

The managing director of Telstra’s Innovation, Products and Marketing unit, Kate McKenzie, said in a statement the future is in developing this new software.

“Our industry is changing rapidly. The future is in the software layer and there is an application for absolutely everything.

“Telstra is moving from providing mobile and internet services to encompassing applications and integrated services.

“This new software defined world presents many opportunities, not least the ability to move faster,” McKenzie said.

For the director and lead designer of app business Bjango, Marc Edwards, business has been booming, but he told Smart Company the market was becoming increasingly competitive.

“Business has been great, we’ve been pre-iPhone launch as well as the gold rush at the start, but it’s certainly getting more competitive now.”

“Lots of people love using apps and that’s only growing, but it’s more and more competitive,” he says.

But he says Telstra’s move into the market will be buoyed by its reputation.

“It’s a compelling offering, they’ve got a platform to launch because they’re very well known,” Edwards says.

The Telstra team will be formed from a mix of current and new employees and operate as a start-up business, drawing on the assets of the broader company.

Despite users continued love of apps, Edwards says the industry boom will slow down.

“I think it will stabilise, it’s a bit hard to predict, and there are still a lot of platform shifts that may happen. Samsung are doing well in the market, but aren’t necessarily doing as well in other metrics.

“People who are only in it for the money might find that it dries up,” he says.



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