I read an interesting article on the Wired today about the cheap smartphone revolution. India has already experienced its mini-revolution in terms of local brands like Micromax, Karbonn reaching out to the “aspirational” classes. The interesting take-away of the article was the proliferation of apps (Whatsapp, etc) supported on cheapest of the phones, that allow users to reduce their monthly expenses on cellphone. he implications for app developers are clear – if you need mass base, ensure that your app replaces something that otherwise requires users to pay.
The next question is who will the app developer earn money? In the Indian context, where issues of privacy have not been seriously raised, advertising appears to the easiest way to begin.
Pando has an interesting article on the wasteland called apps market. Of the millions of apps available on Google Play and iStore barely 1000 have more than 50,000 users! This poses a question (which everyone is trying to understand) – what determines the success of an app? To understand some of the factors, lets pose the following question – why would a person download an app? The answer – productivity (mail/calender/etc), entertainment (video/audio) and social networking are the three broad heads. Of course, most apps are some combination of the three (e.g., Quizup – a quizzing app overlaps entertainment with social networking). Now the app developer needs to ensure the following: the app provides for a combination hitherto not available, the app needs to be used frequently and the app needs to spread in a viral fashion. While most app developers are now a bit behind the curve in the mobile revolution, they do have a chance to participate in the next round – modular mobile revolution.
PS: Do check out the article on fundraising. It has interesting insights for people looking for Venture Capital.