Friday, 14th January 2011
Nancy Davis Kho
The American Dialect Society has decided on 2010's word of the year, and anyone following mobile computing news could probably have guessed it: 'app'. With IDC projecting 76.9 billion smartphone application downloads by 2014, a sevenfold growth rate from 2010, it's clear that apps are a permanent fixture on the landscape.
Exactly how those apps will generate revenue is still evolving. Mobclix (www.mobclix.com), a mobile ad exchange network, released its predictions for '2011 App Game Changers' last month and it provides a good roadmap to the different approaches content vendors may pursue over the months to come. http://digbig.com/5bdfaf
From incorporating rich media adds to the new economies of in-app purchasing to the growth of iCurrency, vendors are having to toss out prior assumptions and think 'flexibility'. In-app, single purchases may become more prevalent, and integrated password access to subscriber content via mobile, desktop, and tablet computers. News Corp. announced today that it would be delaying the launch of its iPad-only newspaper (rumoured to be called The Daily). It's probably a sign that they're making sure they get the as yet undisclosed revenue model right for release, but I'd be surprised if the model doesn't go back to the drawing board a few times anyway.
Keeping users engaged is another ongoing challenge. By leveraging push notifications, location-based services, and constant app upgrades to spur ongoing user engagement, vendors reflect the notion that the launch of a new mobile app is not the end of the game, but its opening salvo.
With so much competition for smartphone user attention - TechCrunch recently estimated that there are 300,000 apps available for the iPhone alone - expect mobile business applications in 2011 to evolve at a pace unheard of for a desktop application.
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