Nov 04

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Mobile Apps: The Numbers Add Up

IDC, the market intelligence firm for the IT, telco and technology markets, forecasts nearly 183 BILLION annual app downloads by 2015. In an evening of big numbers, this was certainly the biggest. The 6th MobileMonday Manila gathering focused on monetization. As Norbert Aquende, Microsoft MVP and speaker put it, “Is your mobile app just an app, or is it a business?”

Aquende pointed out that the Asia-Pacific region will become the largest smartphone market in the world by 2012. With the increasing demand for apps, it definitely makes sense for developers and potential investors to have a clear business model. He mentioned common mobile app business models, such as pay-per-download, in-app advertising, in-app purchasing, freemum, subscription, and service. As a service example, he used Amazon Fresh, a Seattle-only delivery service for groceries whose app runs exclusively on the Windows Phone 7 (WP7) platform.

In choosing the right monetization strategy, Aquende reminded the MoMoManila audience to be open to explore disruptive models, and to ensure the user base was large enough before introducing monetization. He concluded with a tour of WP7 and its advantages for mobile app developers, including Bing-powered app discovery and Metro, WP7′s specific design language.

Next with his own numbers was Johan Kremer, RIM’s Head of Alliances for Southeast Asia, who flew in from Singapore to attend MoMoManila. Currently, BlackBerry® has 70 million subscribers. Its BlackBerry App World™ is available in over 130 countries. Over 1 billion apps have been downloaded from BlackBerry App World to-date.

Johan encouraged the developers in the audience to explore how they could partner with BlackBerry in generating more revenue. He said, “Our users are hungry for apps. Over 140 million apps are downloaded per month.” He quoted an Evans Data Corporation survey: “13% of BlackBerry developers make over $100,000 from the App World apps, which is considerably more than developers of other app stores.”

For those who want to jump on the wagon, now is the right time as Johan announced that the US$1,000 first year annual fee of becoming an Associate Partner of the BlackBerry Alliance Program will be waived for Philippine developers. All they need to do is to send an email to jkremer@rim.com to waive the fee. Signing up to become a BlackBerry Alliance partner means that you will have frontline access to resources in development, marketing and training. In other words, you will be better equipped to develop applications for monetization.

RIM is holding its second Asia focused developer conference BlackBerry DevCon Asia in Bangkok from December 7-8. Johan made ten (10)  free passes available to MoMoManila. Those who register and attend will also receive free BlackBerry® PlayBook™.