Chunghwa Telecom Co (中華電信), one of nation’s top three telecoms operators, is moving aggressively to increase the number of downloads from its app store to boost revenues generated from value-added services.
Chunghwa Telecom said on Tuesday that it has set a target of 1.5 million app downloads in the final eight months of the year, after having made intensive efforts to expand its app store Hami Apps.
Hami Apps has had 2 million app downloads since it was launched at the end of 2008, but the company expects those numbers to rise rapidly by increasing the number of apps available in the store from 4,000 to 6,000 by the end of the year.
Chunghwa Telecom currently works with more than 600 app developers to create products for its app store, including one project in which the telecoms operator has teamed up with US-based video game outfit Electronic Arts (EA) to build a gaming pavilion on Hami Apps.
Chunghwa Telecom said the partnership with EA is expected to boost the international visibility of its app services and create a wider range of options that would enhance the company’s mobile services.
In addition to entertainment-related apps, such as gaming and music, Hami Apps also provides educational apps, including English learning tools, Chunghwa Telecom said on its Web site.
Sales generated by Chunghwa Telecom from its mobile services business in the first quarter totaled NT$25.6 billion (US$880 million), up 12 percent from a year earlier, helped by a 29.2 percent increase in revenue from value-added services, which include app downloads.
The government-sponsored Institute for Information Industry’s Market Intelligence & Consulting Institute said the production value of the global app market is expected to reach US$25 billion in 2015.
Gartner, a global market advisory firm, has predicted that the number of global app downloads is expected to exceed 70 billion in 2014 on the back of the quick penetration of smartphones into mainstream markets and rising demand for app services.
Many Taiwanese high-tech firms are trying to broaden their customer bases by entering the fast growing market by shifting to more profitable software development and putting less emphasis on hardware manufacturing, where the competition is intense and margins are low.