Category Archives: Mobile

Apps “locking” in customers

Apps have become a common expression after the success of iPhone/iPod application system. Its become huge business on Apple devices and Google Android Marketplace. Recently Apple logged over 10 billion downloads through the App Store. Sure, lots of Apps are free, but the numbers are interesting.

What I find more interesting is how the apps really create its own echo system for both Apple and Google. Their own digital download channels, which they own and operate. And Apple owns both the Hardware, Sales/Distribution Channels, Software, and get 30% of all the revenue generated by sold Apps.

From a customer perspective its interesting to see how this affect which device (system) we choose. For example, I am a big Apple fan, owning an iPad, iPod, iPhone and an iMac. I purchase and download new apps all the time. Mostly games, and between 1 – 5 dollars. And now when I have invested so much money in apps through Apples system, I am very unlikely to change to the Google system, cause I would then have to purchase all the apps again. Even if the apps isn’t that expensive, I still have invested quite a lot of money in Apple Apps.

In some way customers is making a bigger decisions now when they have to purchase mobile devices. The Apps will be a heavier factor in the choice of which system to pick.  Its interesting because Apps really adds value to the system and devices, so its in the interest of both Google and Apple to get the latest and best apps to their platform.

Google’s Chrome Web Store is really happening!

In the US, the worlds biggest Search Engine have taken the step (outside the mobile platform) to start selling applications. And not just any applications, web browser applications (apps)! Throught the newly opened  Google Chrome Web Store you have the ability to purchase web browser apps. At the moment its only available for in the US territory. People with mobile phones or other devices running Google’s own operating system Android have had access to apps before. But this is a new direction, but in line with their plan for their upcoming PC operating system to compete with Windows.

And among the first publishers to release games on the Web Store we find Electronic Arts, Zynga, Digital Chocolate, Jagex, Spryfox, Bigpoint and Namco. They will inially start with just over 200 games. But most of those partners are probably already signed thanks to the help of the Android Marketplace for Andriod Mobile decides. Here Google have sort of taken the position were Mircosoft could have been, having the dominant Mobile OS for none-Apple mobile phones. Microsoft’s answer is the new Windows Moblie 7, but the question is if it will be dead on arrival.

It will be interesting to see the potential of the games and other applications they will release going forward. Will it be yet another platform for games, similar to GamersGate and our competitors? It seems Googles focusing more on building platforms and offer services than its core business, search. Well, its all business right to expand and develop its portfolio. And looking at the success of both Apple’s iTunes and digital distribution stores for PC/Mac games, this is a very lucrative market. Owning the distribution channel and the customer. And customers, or rather users is key for Google. Knowing as much as possible to display better directed Ads, which generate more revenue. So taking the step into distribution is something else from their core business. But hey, its Google! Would could they possible fail? Oh wait… Google Wave. But stop! They still rethinking that project.

Then we have Apple, which is its own success story! Not only do they own and control their own distribution platform (iTunes), they are also hardware manufactures. So the Apps build for Apple product will ONLY work on Apple product. One manufacture, one platform. But its still it makes millions both for Apple and its third-party developer. And they have their own web browser as well! Wouldn’t surprise if they start selling Web browser Apps as well, through iTunes of cause.

They are truly trying to take over the internet, and at the moment they are also battling Facebook for the time, attention and clicks from the worlds billions web users. Facebook have done what Google did to Microsoft, “steeling” good workers/programmers. And to lock-in users as much as possible. Which is really good from a business perspective but not away’s from a customers/user perspective. For exmple this is happening in the PC/Mac games industry at the moment with our biggest competitor, Steam. They are locking in customers in their service and make developers and publishers reliant of them. Will write another post on this later.

But the battle of the web giant is about to begin.

Chrome Web Store

Google Chrome Web Store

New iPhone 3Gs

Finally is the new iPhone version out, and I ran away today at work to buy one. Not the hype as the first (first in Sweden, second all and all), but still it seems they sold the ones they had very fast. I got my hands on a white 16gb version.

After 2 years with my current that I can’t update or use Apps on its felt it was time for an update. The best is the constant Internet connection i have now. But will not be able to use the phone as a phone until Wednesday.

iPhone show musle as portable gaming platform

Its hard to ignore the success of the iPhone. Just the fact that the new version sold 1 million in 3 DAYS! And with the new version just released with increased processor speed and combination with a newer OS (3.0), game developers have something new to look forward to. I will get one imidiately when it launches in Swedish stores.

Just recently the legendary developer John Carmack at id Software talked about developing games for the iPhone in an interview, with the pros and cons of the phone.

But I hope I can wind up doing something in the good old classic way of doing things, where I do something that’s just amazingly cool to look at but maybe a little thin on the ground in terms of what the actual substance is there. But do that to kind of get things out and test it and see what’s going on. Because our mainstream development is going to be focused on the original baseline platform. The 3GS will always run it faster and smoother, and maybe we can add a few simple things to add on there, but you just can’t–especially scaling all the way from fixed functions to programmable shaders–it’s just a completely different development strategy if you want to max it out.

John Carmack – Shacknews Interview

And it is still very earily time for the iPhone platform and the best is probably yet to come. Looking forward for it.

iPhone 3G s

Now have the new version of Apples iPhone been reveiled, iPhone 3G s. The “s” according to Apple stands for Speed. I watched the presentation from WWDC09 yesterday. Unfortunatly Steve Jobs weren’t there to present it which is a shame. But I just waited for a new version of the iPhone before buying a “real” one. Feature-wise there isn’t any real news in the phone other than better battery and processor speed, and of cause the video camera. What I am interested in is trying out the App store and to be able to upgrade the software. Something I can’t do today.

What’s really interested to try out are all the games for the iPhone. Throughout the Gameing community and press the interest for the iPhone as a gaming plattform have only increased! And now with more processing power and the SDK this will become really interesting.

Apple iPhone 3G s

Apple iPhone 3G s

Apple countdown to One billion Apps

A few month ago Apple launched an SDK for developers to create Apps (applications) for the iPhone and iPod Touch. And it became an instant hit! Just go to Youtube and search for “iphone apps“, you get thousands of results on different newly developed Apps. 

Basically it enables anyone to develop what ever application or game to the iphone and ipod touch, and through Apples platform make it available for sales. Today there is many thousand different Apps available, and new are constantly added. Its become one of the new big things! The simple step of enabeling anyone to develop to the iPhone is a very important key to the success. Its become somewhat of a standard to open up to developers to develop the platform through APIs and SDKs. And for Apple it paid off! The fans of the iPhone wanted tools to create new things for their favorite new toy, and Apple responded.  Now they have a countdown to the one billions downloaded app. Amazing how popular iPhone Apps have become, in such a short time. 

Countdown Billion Apps

Countdown Billion Apps

Virtual beer – a smash hit!

No doubt, the iPhone have taken the world by storm. Many newspapers and site use headlines like “iPhone-killler” when they report of new phones from other manufactures. Overall its a device with many functions and possibilities for new software. To really secure the future of the iPhone Apple just had to release a SDK for small and big companies to develop their own software, and a platform to release and distribute through. This have proven to be a big success for Apple.

And it have also been a success for some of the developers of the Apps. Like Swedish developer Illusion Labs, with their hit App game Labyrinth. It can be ether downloaded for free or you can pay and get the better version. And now they have a new free App called iPint, developed for the company Carling how is a beer producer. A sort of Advertgame that makes use of the iPhones accelerometer. The new company have received some good press lately, specially for iPint.

Many see this new platform as a great new way for marketers to work with for their new products and brands. To develop new, easy, cheap and funny advertgames/applications that will create great buzz. Instead of old dusty static ads, companies and agencies can create new innovative and interactive applications and games. I’ve seen some news and text about mobile marketing, which is basically displaying ads when people surf through the mobile. But this is a new way to work with mobile marketing, to truly leverage the potential in the phone to build a brand and or make good money directly.

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iPhone 3G lands in Sweden

Finally, after month and months of waiting (soon a year since the initial release of iPhone in the US), the new version with 3G is the first iPhone to be released in Sweden. That is trough retailers and stores. Those of us who didn’t have the patience to wait had to buy ours imported and unlocked. But now its available “legally”.

The Swedish news sites have reported a whole bit around this. And the stores selling the phone, were opened the night between Thursday and Friday for people waiting in line outside to buy it. Even today during lunch people still stood in line to buy their iPhone3G.

Heres two pictures I took when I was out for lunch. From two different stores in Stockholm. One even had security guards! Never though I would see people waiting in line for a phone. Not in Sweden at least.

Iphone release sweden

Iphone release sweden

Apple perfecting the iPhone?

Today I finally had the time to view (or rather just have on in the background) the latest Apple Steve Jobs Keynote from Worldwide Developers Conference held in San Francisco’s Moscone West. Always a pleasure to get the latest news from a successful company that managed to turn bad business around 180 degrees. The big talk this time, which the media and press rightly speculated, was circulated around the iPhone.

iPhone became on of last years hottest products, and with that criticized for lacking many important features, like 3G and enterprise suited features. To really be attracted by the corporation and enterprise area should have included some missing features. Even so, after it’s release, every new phone was discussed if it would be the iPhone killer. It became a phenomenon, and even though the phone wasn’t released outside of the U.S. for a while, fans and early adopters found ways to export and unlock the AT&T lock soon after its release. I’ve had mine sense September last year, and its the best phone I’ve owned.

Now Apple seems to have listen to the critics and added the requested features. They’ve opened it for developer to create new applications and distribute through Apples network. Made some changes so iPhone will appeal more to big and small corporations, so they can compete with other “work phones” like the Blueberry. The new model will be cheaper and have 3G and GPS. And be released on July 11, apparently in Sweden to now! I’m very tempted to by this new version, especially for the longer battery life and new color (white).
It really seems Apple listen to the market, and took a already fantastic product, and made it accordingly after demands. With 3G I think they will once again reshape how we use phones in our social and connected life out in the world.

Its finally here. The first phone to beat the iPhone. Introducing, the new iPhone!

Apple to dominate the mobile gaming market?

A couple weeks ago Apple unveiled the SDK for their hit mobile (mini-computer?) iPhone. Companies and the business world were critical toward the iPhone in regards to the lack of business oriented applications and software. Also some users want to be able to create their own programs. Never underestimate the power of user commitment and energy with a brand or product they love. Anyway, the SDK have sense its release been downloaded over 100 000 times. During Apples presentation of the new features in the latest iPhone firmware and the flexibility of the SDK, they invited game developer to show the potential.Apple games

Apple will make it possible for developers to release new programs and games through the iTunes platform. The power iPhone displayed as a gaming machine was impressive. One part of the gaming market I’ve heard little of, and I’m still not totally convinced about is the mobile market. With all different brands, systems, technical spec in the phones, it can’t be easy developing for a non defined system. The iPhone have set a new standard in the mobile market. Most the news I read about a new phone there’s always the comparison with the iPhone. “This is the iPhone killer”.

The interesting question here is whether Apple going to dominate the mobile gaming market. They have a great product with a huge market share. Well, not in Sweden sense it doesn’t even have a release date. I’m looking forward to see how they will do, and that the game developer will use the power of the iPhone to create. It wouldn’t surprise me if Apple want to dominate and control the mobile gaming market. Okey, I don’t like the idea of one company with to much power in one market, not even if it is Apple. But according to me, if the mobile market is to grow, it will require a united platform. Maybe the iPhone will set the standard? Time will tell, but it sure as hell will be interesting to follow…

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