While The Mobile App Surge Continues, Operators Struggle To CapitalizeAs the mobile app frenzy continues, operators around the world are still trying to effectively capitalize on the craze.

New research from Research2Guidance indicate the worldwide market for mobile apps reached $1.7 billion in 2009, and during the first six months of this year, reached $2.2 billion.  Likewise, the number of downloaded apps jumped to 3.9 billion in the first six months of 2010 from 3.1 billion during all of 2009.  What’s interesting is that the research suggests the major growth going forward will come from independent app stores.

While the market continues to grow by leaps and bounds, operators are left wondering how they can get a piece of the action.  There was some interesting data on the topic from a Freshfield Bruckhaus survey of network operators which primary focused on the approaching end of flat-rate mobile pricing.  Thirty-seven percent of respondents suggest that application downloads will be the main revenue source in three years.

That number exceeded voice and video downloads — the second and third finishers — by 1 and 5 percentage points, respectively.  The survey also found that 80 percent believe that opening their platforms to independent application developers is prudent, and 45 percent say that creating their own app store would be a good move.  Still, as the mobile app ecosystem continues to blossom exponentially, operators need to do everything they can to become more than just the dumb pipes they’re being turned into.