Saturday 3 July 2010

Mobile Apps a fad

It has always been a debatable issue as to how big the mobile Apps market is. Right now it is huge and seems to be growing fast.

Dean Bubley of Disruptive wireless on the other hand thinks of Apps as a fad that will die sooner or later. He re-iterated the point he made back in February that:

a) There is no mobile Internet, just the Internet on mobile. The vast bulk of usage of the Internet on mobile devices mirrors the usage on fixed networks and from PCs. In particular, there is a huge amount of mobilisation (with tweaks, yes) of existing social networks (Facebook), email and content downloads (YouTube). With the exception of mapping, most mobile-specific Internet services are niche and useless, eg Foursquare and Gowalla.

b) I'm still expecting that users will get bored of hundreds of applications, and will have a few well-chosen ones - most of which should have been in the core OS when it left the factory anyway. eg on an iPhone - Facebook, RSS and Skype clients. The "long tail" of apps will be of limited interest to most mid-late adopters apart from the occasional game or advertiser-sponsored thing. I'd expect <$2 of spend on apps per month once high-end smartphones get to, say, 30% penetration, perhaps <$1

Mind you, maybe I'm biased. I haven't bought a mobile application for personal use since a Java game in 2005, and don't have any payment mechanism registered with iTunes.

I tend to agree with him but I think that the Apps threshold will be slightly higher like $5 per month which would be stealthily provided by the operators mainly through offers like "free apps allowance" kinda stuff.

This article reminds me of the dilbert joke (below) that other professionals can also make money around the Apps marketplace:

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