Smartphone Application Development

The baby is finally out. After months of planning, deliberation and run-ins with the itunes store team, our Hits Music Ringtone app finally hits the itunes store. The whole process was tedious in attempting to guess what was allowed or not allowed by itunes, but we have certainly came out wiser from the whole thing.

We first conceived the idea to build our own consumer app a few months back and decided on a simple ringtone app as a dip-stick for us in understanding the inner workings of Apple itunes and also the potential of the app business. I must say that I was pleasantly surprised with the reception we got for this app despite it being an “unpolished” version which definitely needs further priming for the big time. We managed to get listed as a “new and noteworthy” app by itunes and placed within the top  10 apps for the entertainment section in the first week of launch. This was beyond my expectation and has certainly renewed our confidence in competing against the thousands of apps out there.

The smartphone apps market will continue to grow and it is absolutely crucial for us as a mobile centric company to hone our skills in this segment.  According to the study, created by Chetan Sharma Consulting, mobile app downloads should jump from 7 billion in 2009 to almost 50 billion in 2012. By this time, the market will be worth 17.5 billion dollars, the study predicts, despite the expected lower price of mobile apps, which should drop from the current average of 2 dollars per app to 1.5 dollars in 2012.

Wherever you find consumers, advertising and marketing activities follows. I predict that all major brands will have their own smartphone apps in the very near future. And yes they would need to advertise their apps through ad networks catered for smartphones. Experience tells me that in Malaysia we will see media and telecommunications companies being the early adopters of this platform while most advertisers adopt a wait and see attitude.

For the mean time, I’ll explore how to get a million downloads for our app.


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