The world’s largest mobile infrastructure supplier, Sweden’s Ericsson, has launched a white label app store as a service to mobile operators. The company claims it is already in discussions with a number of operators regarding them using the new service, known as ‘eStore.’
Hans Vestberg, the company’s CEO, said eStore was targeted for use on any device, not just a select few. “It will provide operators with an open landscape and an opportunity for them to quickly set up their own app stores. The revenue split will follow the traditional model, with Ericsson retaining only a small percentage.”
eStore will launch with 30,000 apps, some of which will be free. “Our eStore makes it possible for the user to access a wide collection of apps from any mobile phone,” said Jan Wareby, head of Ericsson’s multimedia business unit.
However, Ericsson’s eStore not only faces competition from the well-established app store services from Apple and RIM; it is also not presently involved with the initiative announced yesterday where 24 of the world’s largest operators have agreed to an open international application platform.
Commenting on the prospects for the future, Vestberg was bullish with regard to the opportunities being presented by the growth in mobile data. “We forecast that by 2015 laptop subscriptions will have grown six times and the traffic generated will have grown more than 50 times compared with 2009.”
But Vestberg, who has only been CEO for 45 days, was notably reluctant to provide any guidance on the company’s fortunes for this year. He claimed that it was too early to predict likely growth, instead focused on the structural changes he had made within the company and a need to be closer to the customer. “Ericsson is changing, and we’re transforming the business model, people and technology,” concluded Vestburg.