Who can’t afford to lose in application stores?

I was chatting with Mitch Oliver, Vice President at Qualcomm Internet Solutions, about the future of application stores. It occured to me – in light of yesterday’s operator consortium announcement – this market has now become a story of “Who can’t afford to lose.” With such fragmentation and crowding in this space, there is no question the 40 or so mainstream application stores will consolidate rapidly into a handful of long-term players. The question then becomes: who has sufficient incentive and deep enough pockets to ensure they do not lose.

I’ll develop these ideas in more detail later, with some thoughts on potential candidates and what will enable them to succeed, but right now another meeting beckons…

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