Are Mobile Apps Going the Way of Ringtones?


One thing is for certain, mobile applications aren’t going away anytime soon as developers continue to create apps for both business and personal use. The IDC estimates that the global market for mobile apps will be over $35B by 2014.

However, Harris Interactive research found that nearly 4 in 10 mobile app users are disappointed in the applications from their favorite brands, with the prevailing sentiment (73%) being that an app should be easier to use than their website. And with the rise of smartphones, improved 4G connectivity and the creation of HTML5, the mobile browsing experience has been greatly improved. This will certainly have an effect on the usage of apps in the coming years, especially since finding, downloading and configuring these applications takes time and effort.

And consider this, most mobile users only engage with between three and five applications on their phone on a regular basis. The majority of these apps are for either social networks or games and less than 10% of mobile owners still use an application one week after they download it. Some analysts have gone so far as to compare the popularity of mobile applications to that of the ringtone or website widgets. That analysis may be a bit extreme especially as ingenious ways of integrating a phone’s camera  functionality into specific applications and the convenience of mobile commerce apps that leverage Near Field Communication (NFC) technology.

Lenco Mobile to Brands – build apps only if it makes a lot of sense!

Lenco Mobile has a team of world-class developers that can build and manage custom applications for your brand, however it recommends that any application development be done after careful consideration and research among target consumers. Let’s face it, application development is expensive and that cost needs to be weighed against smartphone usage (within the demographic) and mobi site experiences with HTML5 as well as the ability to tie in SMS and MMS message campaigns. There is also platform segmentation to consider. Many brands were quick to develop mobile applications that were neither sharp nor particularly useful. This can only damage brand equity.

In taking a different approach to applications, Lenco Mobile has developed targeted applications within its UniversalPlayer™. Its player is one of the leading internet broadcasting platforms, reaching over 40 million unique listeners each month. Within this interactive platform, listeners can utilize apps for news, sports, gossip, jobs and more while they are enjoying their favorite broadcast. In this context, apps are a value-add to an existing channel where consumers are already engaged. Developers are invited to submit their applications for review as the app store will continue to grow.

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