Given the surge in popularity with Google’s Android mobile operating system and the continued support for the Apple iPhone, is it really a wonder that 2010 is being hailed as the year of the app. According to a new report form DM2PRO and Quattro Wireless, investment in mobile apps will likely grow this year with the iPhone being the primary platform followed by Android. And according to the eMarketer newsletter, while fewer than one-half of marketers created mobile or social apps in 2009, most plan to follow through with mobile apps this year.
The question will be whether these apps will actually be useful and how these apps could actually be transformed into revenue streams for the marketers. The concern that I have is that apps could follow the trend with Web sites in the mid-1990s, where these were interesting but really didn’t provide much more than a diversion.
The issue that I see is that while apps can be interesting and could help brand awareness, these need to be downloaded rather than merely visited by clicking a link. Will consumers really take the time to download and install apps? Some, especially those with a social network facet, could be worth the time, but no one needs a handset version of a promotional Web site.
2010 Showdown: Apple vs. Nokia
Last week I highlighted a few of the notable battles going in the mobile space, and one that I didn’t discuss just happens to be the making news in recent days. That’s the showdown between Apple and Nokia – the former has the iPhone, which dominants in North American, Western Europe and Latin America, while the latter with the Symbian OS is still a powerhouse in the rest of Europe, Asia and Africa.
It appears that Apple is closing the gap, even if the launch of the iPhone in South Korea was far from a complete success. Mobile Advertising network, AdMob, has just released new data from a December 2009 survey and it shows that interest in the iPhone continues to grow worldwide, notably in Asia and Eastern Europe. However, the iPhone isn’t likely to gain much in the way of market share in Africa, but given the handset’s cost and networks, durable and affordable handsets seem to be the way to go over smartphones.
Rumors & Releases: T-Mobile Releases myTouch 3G Fender Limited Edition
If you haven’t caught the commercial with Eric Clapton showing off the new myTouch 3G Fender Limited Edition handset, it is an interesting spin on T-Mobile’s latest cellular phone. While the handset didn’t actually draw the same level attention as the latest iPhone or even the Motorola DROID, this new limited edition could turn heads, as it features the iconic style of the Fender guitar sunburst finish-inspired design. More impressively, it features an enhanced music player and comes with a 16GB microSD card preloaded with songs by Clapton, Avril Lavigne, Brad Paisley and Wyclef Jean.
The Android-powered handset is available now for $179.99 with a new two-year service agreement and qualifying voice and data plan.