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How to Choose the Right Ecosystem for Your Mobile Application

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‘How to  Choose  the  Right  Ecosystem  for  Your  Mobile  Application’    

1.  EXECUTIVE  SUMMARY  .............................................................................................................................  2   2.  GENERAL  KNOWLEDGE  ............................................................................................................................  2   A.  Introduction  .........................................................................................................................................  2   B.  Technology,  Environments  and  Ecosystems  ........................................................................................  3   Operating  Platforms  .............................................................................................................................  3   Apple  iOS  ..............................................................................................................................................  3   Google  Android  ....................................................................................................................................  3   RIM  Blackberry  .....................................................................................................................................  4   Microsoft  Windows  Phone  7  ...............................................................................................................  4   C.  Device  Types  ........................................................................................................................................  5   Smartphones  ........................................................................................................................................  6   Tablets  .................................................................................................................................................  7   D.  Delivery  and  Distribution  .....................................................................................................................  8   Apple  iOS  ..............................................................................................................................................  8   Google  Android  ....................................................................................................................................  8   RIM  BlackBerry  .....................................................................................................................................  9   Microsoft  Windows  Phone  7  ...............................................................................................................  9   3.  CHOOSING  THE  RIGHT  ECOSYSTEM  .......................................................................................................  11   A.  Functionality  ......................................................................................................................................  11   B.  Target  audience  .................................................................................................................................  12   C.  Distribution  and  Monetisation  Goals  .................................................................................................  12   4.  CONCLUSIONS  ........................................................................................................................................  13   About  Apppli  ..............................................................................................................................................  14  

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‘How to  Choose  the  Right  Ecosystem  for  Your  Mobile  Application’    

1. EXECUTIVE  SUMMARY   The   exciting   business   opportunities   created   by   the   mobile   app   boom   have   encouraged   many   entrepreneurs   and   businesses   to   develop   and   distribute   their   own   applications.   Without   the   benefit   of   industry   expertise,   however,   venturing   into   the   world   of   mobile   application   development  can  seem  like  a  daunting  prospect.       An  effective  strategy  is  dependent  on  several  important  factors,  but  none  are  as  critical  as  the   choice   of   ecosystem.   Understood   as   a   working   combination   of   device,   operating   system   and   delivery  environment,  a  mobile  ecosystem  determines  the  way  an  application  is  discovered  and   used.   In   recent   times,   ecosystem   choice   has   been   complicated   by   the   increase   in   advanced   mobile  devices  and  the  availability  of  new  operating  systems.       Optimal  delivery  and  usage  of  a  mobile  application  always  depends  on  the  ecosystem  for  which   it   has   been   developed,   thus   making   the   right   decisions   in   this   regard   is   crucial   to   the   success   of   your  mobile  application.  This  white  paper  is  intended  as  a  guide  to  help  you  identify  the  most   suitable  environment  for  your  mobile  application.     2.  GENERAL  KNOWLEDGE   A.  Introduction   Over   the   last   several   years   the   growth   in   smartphone   penetration   has   dramatically   reshaped   the  computing  landscape  in  favour  of  mobile  computing  applications.  It  is  estimated  that  more   than   one   billion   people   will   own   a   smartphone   by   2013,   while   worldwide   tablet   sales   will   reach   81.3  million  units  in  2012,  up  from  15.7  million  in  2010.     Worldwide  app  store  downloads  are  forecast  to  reach  17.7  billion  by  the  end  of  this  year,  which   amounts   to   a   117%   increase   from   an   estimated   8.2   billion   downloads   in   2010.   By   the   end   of   2014,  an  estimated  185  billion  applications  will  have  been  downloaded  from  mobile  app  stores,   the  first  of  which  was  launched  in  July  2008.         Ecosystem  diversity  sustains  the  growth  of  the  mobile  application  market  by  providing  a  wide   range   of   choices   for   users   and   developers.   It   also   makes   it   more   challenging   to   devise   an   effective   mobile   application   strategy,   the   success   of   which   depends   in   part   on   choosing   the   right  combination  of  mobile  device,  operating  platform  and  delivery  mechanism.  By  gaining  a   basic   knowledge   of   the   technological   landscape   and   focusing   on   the   most   critical   issues,   however,   you   can   make   the   right   decision   when   it   comes   to   choosing   the   most   suitable   ecosystem  for  your  mobile  application.             Page  |  2    


‘How to  Choose  the  Right  Ecosystem  for  Your  Mobile  Application’    

B. Technology,  Environments  and  Ecosystems   The  main  components  of  a  mobile  ecosystem  are  the  operating  platform,  the  device  type  and   the  distribution  environment.         Operating  Platforms     The   most   widely-­‐used   operating   platforms   are   Apple’s   iOS,   Google’s   Android,   Research   in   Motion’s  (RIM)  BlackBerry,  and  Microsoft’s  Windows  Phone  7.     Apple  iOS     Considered  by  many  to  be  the  leading  operating  system  for  mobile  applications,  Apple  iOS  is  a   proprietary   platform   best   characterized   by   a   tightly   controlled   development   environment,   a   wide  selection  of  high  quality  applications  and  a  rewarding  app  store  experience.    The  closed   development  environment  means  that  iOS  only  supports  devices  manufactured  by  Apple,  such   as   the   iPhone   and   the   iPad.   Since   Apple   controls   the   manufacturing   of   all   iOS   devices,   it   can   ensure   uniformity   of   design   and   function   while   allowing   developers   to   build   applications   that   are  compatible  with  all  its  products.  The  high  quality  of  iOS  applications  is  further  guaranteed   by   a   stringent   testing   and   verification   process   that   filters   the   applications   before   they   are   released.     While   Apple’s   tough   standards   ensure   the   production   of   high   quality   applications,   they   also   raise  the  cost  of  entry  for  developers  and  thus  lead  to  higher  costs  of  development  within  its   ecosystem.   Furthermore,   Apple   tries   to   force   developers   to   use   their   in-­‐app   billing   system,   which   can   negatively   impact   the   ROI   for   applications   that   have   been   designed   to   sell   digital   content.     Google  Android     Developed   and   maintained   by   industry   giant   Google   since   2005,   Android   is   an   open   source   mobile  application  ecosystem  that  can  be  run  on  a  wide  variety  of  devices  made  by  different   manufacturers.       The   low   cost   of   entry   and   Google’s   strong   brand   have   resulted   in   the   rapid   uptake   of   the   platform   by   developers   in   recent   years,   making   Android   the   most   popular   platform  for  smartphones  and  second  in  the  tablet  market  only  to  Apple’s  iOS.  Android’s  open   nature   is   a   double-­‐edged   sword,   however,   when   it   comes   to   the   ease   of   developing   applications,  since  developers  have  to  make  their  apps  compatible  with  a  wide  range  of  devices   with  different  screen  sizes  and  hardware  specifications.       Page  |  3    


‘How to  Choose  the  Right  Ecosystem  for  Your  Mobile  Application’    

Although the   low   cost   of   entry   has   led   to   the   creation   of   a   loyal   and   expanding   developer   community,   the   lack   of   proper   testing   before   distribution   has   affected   the   overall   quality   of   Android   apps.   Critics   argue   that   the   overall   quality   of   the   Android   user   interface   (UI)   is   considerably   lower   than   iOS   and   the   lack   of   control   has   led   to   a   deluge   of   poorly   designed   applications.   The   unrestrained   flow   of   applications   into   the   Android   market,   coupled   with   device   fragmentation   and   Google’s   reluctance   to   actively   market   the   platform,   have   also   led   to   problems  with  discoverability  and  the  availability  and  ease  of  purchase  of  paid  applications.     RIM  Blackberry       RIM   has   long   been   regarded   as   a   pioneer   in   mobile   computing   and   its   Blackberry   operating   system   has   been   widely   used   since   the   late   1990s.     As   a   proprietary   platform,   Blackberry   OS   supports  specialized  communication  protocols  such  as  BBM  (instant  messenger)  and  Blackberry   mail  that  can  only  be  run  on  RIM  smartphones  and  tablets.    Perhaps  best  known  for  its  native   support  for  corporate  email,  it  has  been  the  platform  of  choice  for  the  corporate  community  for   many  years.       However  the  variety  of  sizes  and  form  factors  of  Blackberry  phones  manufactured  by  RIM  alone   make   it   difficult   for   developers   to   support   all   devices.   The   Blackberry   UI   ,especially   on   the   touchscreen  devices,  has  been  widely  criticized  for  being  unintuitive  and  sluggish.  However,  its   high  developer  pay  outs  have  led  to  a  strong  and  growing  developer  community.  Despite  this,   Blackberry’s  smartphone  market  share  has  slipped  to  third  behind  Android  and  iOS.     Microsoft  Windows  Phone  7       The   global   leader   in   operating   systems   for   personal   computers,   Microsoft   Windows   recently   launched   the   Windows   Phone   7   mobile   operating   system.   Designed   for   consumer   instead   of   enterprise  usage,  Windows  Phone  7  is  a  proprietary  platform  that  can  be  run  on  and  will  soon   replace   the   Symbian   system   used   on   Nokia   phones,   thus   giving   it   access   to   Nokia’s   large   customer  base.    Thanks  to  a  large  existing  base  of  developers  for  the  Windows  platform  and  a   massive   marketing   push   from   Microsoft,   the   operating   system   has   also   built   a   healthy   developer   community.   This   has   in   turn   led   to   a   strong   increase   in   the   number   of   available   applications  in  a  relatively  short  time,  thereby  establishing  Windows  Phone  7  as  a  future  player   in  the  mobile  application  market.     The   Windows   Phone   7   UI   was   widely   praised   by   most   in   the   industry   for   introducing   a   refreshing  new  layout.     Page  |  4    


‘How to  Choose  the  Right  Ecosystem  for  Your  Mobile  Application’    

However the  overall  usability  of  the  OS,  which  initially  lacked  many  advanced  capabilities  of  iOS   and  Android,  has  lately  been  catching  up  to  deliver  a  complete  smartphone  OS.  Microsoft  has   adopted   a   sort   of   hybrid   open-­‐closed   system   where   it   licences   WinPhone7   to   a   multitude   of   hardware   manufacturers   while   still   tightly   controlling   the   quality   of   applications   released   on   its   marketplace.     Table  1.  Operating  Systems,  Feature  Summary       Operating   Market  Share   Development   Cost  of  Entry   Device   System   All  Devices   Environment   Compatibility   Apple  iOS   16.2%   Closed   High   Native   Google  Android   10.2%   Open   Low   Non-­‐Native   RIM  Blackberry     Closed   High   Native   Windows  Phone     Hybrid   High   Non-­‐Native   7      Table  2.  Apple  iOS  and  Google  Android  Market  Share,  All  Mobile  Devices       Apple  iOS  vs.  Android  OS  Across  Media  Devices   Total  Installed   Share  (%)  of   3  Mo.  Avg.  Ending  February  2011   Base  (000)   Mobile   Total  U.S.  Mobile  Subscribers,  Age  13+   Subscribers   Source:  comScore  MobiLens   Total  Subscribers   234,000   100.0%   Apple  iOS   37,868   16.2%   Android  OS   23,763   10.2%     C.  Device  Types   The   two   most   popular   device   types   used   to   run   mobile   applications   are   smartphones   and   tablets.   Smartphones   offer   advanced   computing   capabilities,   enhanced   web   connectivity   and   great  portability,  but  they  have  small  screens  and  many  popular  applications  are  only  available   with  limited  functionality.  Tablet  computers  are  larger  than  smartphones,  but  they  interact  with   the  user  in  much  the  same  way,  employing  a  larger  touchscreen  as  a  primary  input  device.  They   are  designed  to  run  like  notebook  computers  and  are  thus  more  adept  at  running  more  than   one  program  or  application  at  any  one  time.    Since  the  launch  of  Apple’s  iPad,  a  whole  host  of   tablets  have  been  released  into  the  market,  signalling  a  new  trend  towards  portable  computing.     There  are  many  device  manufacturers,  but  only  a  few  of  them  have  been  able  to  capture  a  big   chunk  of  the  market  in  each  device  category.   Page  |  5    


‘How to  Choose  the  Right  Ecosystem  for  Your  Mobile  Application’    

Smartphones   Until   recently,   Nokia   was   the   worldwide   leader   in   the   smartphone   market,   producing   phones   that   ran   the   Symbian   operating   system.   Following   the   discontinuation   of   Symbian   in   favor   of   the   Windows   Phone   7   platform,   however,   Nokia   has   fallen   to   third   behind   Apple   and   Samsung.   Apple  has  now  assumed  pole  position  with  its  universally  popular  iPhone,  which  was  launched   only     four   years   ago,   while     Samsung   comes   in   at   a   close   second,   thanks   to   its   arsenal   of   Android-­‐supported  Galaxy  phones.  Nokia  does  expect  to  revive  its  fortunes  by  the  end  of  2011,   when   it   plans   to   release   a   series   of   Windows-­‐based   phones.   As   for   RIM,   while   its   Blackberry   phones   remain   highly   popular   in   the   enterprise   market,   it   is   losing   ground   in   the   consumer   market  to  phones  that  support  Android  and  iOS  systems.       Other   manufacturers   such   as   HTC,   Motorolla   and   Sony   Ericsson,   initially   experienced   rapid   growth   with   their   Android   offerings,   but   that   growth   has   more   or   less   disappeared   due   to   increasing  competition  in  the  Android  environment.  Finally,  there  are  regional  manufacturers  in   developing   countries   such   as   India   and   white-­‐labelled   manufacturers,   mostly   based   in   China,   which  have  been  able  to  produce  Android  phones  with  comparable  quality  at  lower  prices.       These  smartphones  have  been  getting  a  firm  foothold  in  the  lower-­‐end  of  the  market.  At  the   higher  end  of  market,  it  is  safe  to  say  that  vertically  integrated  manufacturers  such  as  Apple  and   Samsung  will  be  able  to  bring  innovations  to  market  much  faster  than  their  competitors,  thus   maintaining  their  superiority  over  other  original  equipment  manufacturers  (OEM).     Table  3.  Smartphone  Market  Share,  2nd  Quarter,  2011  (Source:  Nielsen)  

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‘How to  Choose  the  Right  Ecosystem  for  Your  Mobile  Application’    

Tablets   When  it  comes  to  tablets,  Apple  is  the  unquestionable  market  leader  both  in  terms  of  sales   and   innovation.   Having   played   a   pioneering   role   in   the   tablet-­‐computing   segment   of   the   market  with  its  iPad  in  2010,  Apple  still  maintains  a  hefty  share  of  the  tablet  market  with  the   faster  and  slimmer  iPad  2.       Android  tablets,  while  holding  a  much  smaller  share  of  the  market,  have  surged  in  popularity   in   the   second   quarter   of   2011,   following   the   launch   of   Android’s   tablet-­‐specific   operating   system   called   Honeycomb.   Some   of   the   new   tablets   that   run   this   platform   include   the   Motorola   Xoom,   the   Asus   Eee   Pad,   the   LG   Optimus   pad   and   Samsung’s   series   of   Galaxy   tablets.       RIM  launched  the  Blackberry  Playbook  earlier  this  year  in  a  smaller  7”  form  factor  compared   to  the  larger  10”  standard  set  by  the  iPad  and  followed  by  most  Android  tablets.  RIM  also   adopted   a   new   QNX   based   operating   system   which   is   completely   different   from   the   Blackberry  OS  it  runs  on  its  phones.  This  means  that  the  Playbook  will  not  support  any  of  the   applications   designed   for   Blackberry   phones.   Also   developers   have   to   learn   to   use   a   completely   new   toolkit   specific   to   the   Playbook   which   is   not   the   case   for   the   iPad   and   Android   tablets.   Another   contender   in   the   tablet   space   is   the   HP   Touchpad   which   runs   on   the   proprietary   webOS   system.   HP   devices   based   on   webOS   have   not   been   able   to   gain   much  traction  mainly  because  of  the  lack  of  applications.       Though   there   has   been   an   influx   of   new   players   in   the   tablet   space,   Apple’s   iPad   is   expected   to  hold  its  grip  on  the  market  with  its  extremely  competitive  pricing  and  growing  arsenal  of   tablet   specific   apps.   However,   this   may   change   with   the   widely   anticipated   entry   of   Amazon   later  this  year  with  an  Android  based  Kindle  tablet.  Amazon,  not  unlike  Apple,  has  room  to   sell   its   tablets   at   an   extremely   competitive   price   and   then   make   up   for   the   margin   by   selling   content  through  its  own  Kindle  and  App  Store  platforms.       When  it  comes  to  tablets,  however,  Apple  iOS  has  a  much  larger  market  share  than  all  of  the   other   operating   systems.   Although   Android   is   quickly   catching   up   with   Apple,   RIM   and   HP   currently  hold  relatively  negligible  shares  of  the  market.               Page  |  7    


‘How to  Choose  the  Right  Ecosystem  for  Your  Mobile  Application’    

Table 4.  Tablet  Market  Share,  (Thousands  of  Units)  Source:  Gartner,  April  2011       Operating  System   2010   2011   2012   2015   Apple  iOS   14,766   47,964   68,670   138,497   Market  Share  (%)   83.9   68.7   63.5   47.1   Google  Android   2,502   13,898   26,382   113,457   Market  Share  (%)   14.2   19.9   24.4   38.6   Blackberry  QNX   0   3,901   7,134   29,496   Market  Share  (%)   0.0   5.6   6.6   10.0   Other  (including   341   4,016   6,026   12,643   WebOS)   Market  Share  (%)   5.6   5.7   5.6   4.2       D.  Delivery  and  Distribution   Mobile  applications  are  delivered  via  their  respective  platform’s  online  store  as  well  as  third-­‐ party  vendors.  Apple  iOS  and  Google  Android  have  the  largest  app  store  environments  with   Windows  Phone  7  growing  the  fastest.       Apple  iOS     Apple  iOS  applications  are  distributed  solely  through  Apple's  App  Store,  which  has  the  largest   collection   of   apps   available   for   download.   There   are   currently   more   than   500,000   iOS   applications  that  have  collectively  been  downloaded  more  than  15  billion  times.  The  majority  of   the  App  Store’s  applications  are  paid,  but  Apple  make  it  very  easy  for  users  to  purchase  apps   using  their  iTunes  accounts  where  they  can  be  downloaded  anytime  directly  onto  iOS  devices  or   PCs.   The   high   number   of   available   apps   is   especially   impressive   when   one   considers   the   stringent   testing  procedures  put  in  place  by  Apple  before  they  approve  any  app  and  make  it  available  to   download.  The  most  popular  types  of  apps  are  books  and  games,  with  the  latter  accounting  for   more   than   half   of   cheap/free   apps.   The   number   of   iPad   apps   has   risen   13-­‐fold   since   the   launch   of  the  device  in  2010  and  almost  half  of  these  apps  have  been  games.       Google  Android     The  Android  market  grew  exponentially  in  2010,  with  there  currently  being  over  250,000  apps   available  which  have  been  downloaded  over  2.5  billion  times.    

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‘How to  Choose  the  Right  Ecosystem  for  Your  Mobile  Application’    

This number  is  growing  fast  and  will  soon  surpass  that  of  Apple,  with  the  number  of  available   apps   on   the   Android   market   increasing   by   18%   between   January   and   February   2011.   Android   applications   are   distributed   through   the   Google   Android   Market   and   other   third-­‐party   vendors,   such   as   Amazon,   GetJar   and   Handango,   where   they   do   not   require   Google’s   approval   to   be   listed.     The   vast   majority   of   Android   apps   fit   under   the   Entertainment   category,   with   most   being   available   for   free,   but   the   average   price   of   apps   has   been   increasing   in   recent   months.   Furthermore,  a  small  number  of  free  apps  dominate  the  total  number  of  downloads,  with  less   than  50  apps  accounting  for  43%  of  total  downloads.  It  should  also  be  noted  that  the  43%  of  all   available  apps  are  rated  as  low  quality.       RIM  BlackBerry     Blackberry  applications  are  distributed  through  BlackBerry  App  World  and  third-­‐party  vendors   such   as   MobiHand.   At   the   current   time   there   are   only   about   20,000   apps   available   on   App   World,   but   they   have   been   downloaded   at   rate   of   2   million   per   day   and   have   increased   by   10%   from   January   to   February   2011.     All   apps   submitted   to   App   World   require   approval   from   Blackberry  before  they  are  made  available  for  downloading.       Unlike   Apple   iOS   and   Android,   users   can   purchase   applications   via   Paypal,   credit   cards   and   phone   operator   billing,   making   purchases   easier.     Meanwhile,   app   discoverability   has   been   facilitated  by  strong  marketing  as  well  as  the  attractive  and  user-­‐friendly  features  of  BlackBerry   App  World.       Even   though   the   number   of   applications   available   at   the   Blackberry   app   store   has   been   increasing   over   the   last   year,   the   Blackberry   app   market   still   pales   in   comparison   to   those   of   Apple  and  Android.  Moreover,  the  relatively  high  price  of  applications  for  sale  and  the  lack  of   gaming  and  entertainment  apps  have  deterred  non-­‐business  users  from  using  the  platform.       Microsoft  Windows  Phone  7     Windows  mobile  applications  are  distributed  on  Windows  Marketplace,  which  was  launched  in   October  2009.    Despite  there  being  only  slightly  more  than  20,000  apps  currently  available,  this   number   has   seen   a   30%   increase   between   January   and   February   2011.   All   apps   submitted   to   Windows   Marketplace   require   approval   from   Microsoft   before   they   are   made   available   for   downloading.       Page  |  9    


‘How to  Choose  the  Right  Ecosystem  for  Your  Mobile  Application’    

The Windows  Marketplace  also  gives  users  the  option  of  a  trial  period  where  the  developer  can   grant   free   access   to   the   app   for   a   limited   time.   However,   since   the   marketplace   is   limited   to   only   the   most   successful   apps,   there   is   not   a   wide   range   to   choose   from.   Furthermore,   the   lack   of   HTML5   and   multi-­‐tasking   support   has   hindered   the   adoption   of   the   platform   among   consumers.     Table  5.  Ecosystem  Feature  Summary         Operating   Devices   Store   Apps   Strengths   Weaknesses   System   Apple  iOS   iPhone,  iPad,   App   >500k   Large  collection  of   Stringent  app   iPod   Store   high  quality  apps;  ease   approval  process;   of  purchase;  strong   restricted   developer  community   development  tool   availability;   limitations  on  in-­‐ app  purchases  and   subscriptions.   Google   Numerous,   Android   >250k   Open  ecosystem  and   Lower  quality  UI   Android   e.g.  Google,   Market   access  to  all  mobile   and  functionality;   HTC,  LG,   capabilities  similar  to   poor  app   Motorola,   native  applications,     discoverability,   Samsung,   attracts  developers,   difficult  to     Sony  Ericsson     growing  fast,  Google   purchase  paid   brand.   applications;   Google’s  lack  of   marketing  push     RIM   BlackBerry   App   35k   Paypal,  credit   Limited  number  of   BlackBerry   phones,   World   cards  &  operator   apps;  lack  of   PlayBook   billing  for  apps;   consumer  apps;   highest  developer  pay   high  price  of  apps.   out.   Microsoft   Dell,  HTC,  LG,   Windows   23k   Marketing  push  by   Marketplace  limited   Windows   Samsung,  HP,   Phone   Microsoft;  large   to  most  successful   Phone  7   Nokia,  phones   Market-­‐ existing  developer   apps,  lack  of  HTML5   and  tablets   place   community;  trial   support,  no  multi-­‐ period  for  paid  apps.   tasking  support     Page  |  10    


‘How to  Choose  the  Right  Ecosystem  for  Your  Mobile  Application’    

3. CHOOSING  THE  RIGHT  ECOSYSTEM   Having  gained  a  basic  knowledge  of  the  ecosystem  landscape,  you  can  approach  ecosystem   choice  with  an  informed  perspective.  Keeping  in  mind  the  overall  goal  of  reaching  the  largest   number   of   users   possible,   there   are   several   important   factors   that   you   should   consider   in   making   your   choice.     These   include   the   functionality   requirements   of   the   application,   the   usage   patterns   of   the   target   audience,   and   the   distribution/monetisation   goals   behind   application  development.       A.  Functionality   Whilst  your  approach  to  choosing  the  right  ecosystem  will  naturally  differ  according  to  your   original  concept,  the  first  question  is  always  the  same:  what  will  the  application  do?  Deciding   on   the   application’s   primary   functions   will   prove   crucial   in   determining   the   required   technical   capabilities   and   narrowing   down   the   target   audience.   App   stores   generally   feature   more  than  a  dozen  mobile  application  categories  such  as  news,  entertainment,  sports,  and   business,  but  it  is  more  helpful  to  define  your  application  by  functionality,  as  follows:       ·∙                  Content-­‐Oriented  applications  that  deliver  high-­‐quality  content.  (Games,  Music,   Books,  Photos,  Videos)   ·∙                  Information-­‐Oriented  applications  that  deliver  content  updated  on  a  regular  basis.   (News,  Search  Tools,  Directories)   ·∙                  Location-­‐Oriented  applications  that  deliver  simple  content  based  on  the  user’s   location.  (Maps,  Guides)   ·∙                  Utility-­‐Oriented  applications  that  enhance  productivity  and  improve  user   experience  (Organization  Tools)   ·∙                  Social  applications  that  support  interactions  between  users  in  real  time  (Social   Networks,  Social  Directories)   Even   though   a   mobile   application   usually   offers   a   combination   of   these   functionalities,   employing  these  categories  will  help  pinpoint  the  application’s  main  technical  requirements   as   well   as   its   level   of   complexity.   This   information   can   then   be   used   to   determine   which   operating   systems   and   device   types   can   best   support   the   functional   needs   of   your   application.  Not  all  platforms  are  able  to  run  Flash,  for  instance,  and  only  some  offer  support   for  HTML5.       To  take  one  example,  if  your  application  is  a  game  with  complex  graphics,  it  will  be  better   suited  towards   a   larger   screen   and   thus   better  suited   for   a   tablet.    Furthermore,  since   Apple   devices  generally  offer  better  resolution  than  their  competitors,  releasing  the  game  on  this   platform  will  maximize  its  appeal.  However,  if  your  application  also  requires  Flash  animation   then  Apple  iOS  would  not  be  a  good  choice  as  it  does  not  support  Flash.   Page  |  11    


‘How to  Choose  the  Right  Ecosystem  for  Your  Mobile  Application’    

Once   you   have   determined   which   operating   platforms   and   devices   will   best   support   the   functional  requirements  of  your  application,  you  can  further  narrow  down  ecosystem  choice   by  taking  into  account  the  application’s  intended  audience.         B.  Target  audience   Although   the   functional   aims   of   the   application   will   predetermine   its   target   audience   to   a   certain   extent,   it   would   be   unwise   to   choose   an   ecosystem   without   also   considering   the   established  usage  patterns  of  mobile  device  owners.       These   patterns   vary   based   on   demographics,   psychographics,   geographics,   and   firmagraphics,   which   can   be   described   in   more   simple   terms   as   the   age,   income,   location,   lifestyle  and  employment  attributes  of  the  intended  audience.  At  a  very  high  level,  these  are   some  of  the  things  you  need  to  consider:  is  it  for  business  users?  General  consumers?  High   income  or  low  income?       If   you   are   targeting   the   non-­‐business   market   and   the   mass   market,   the   iPhone   and   the   Android  are  the  best  platform  for  you.  If  you  are  looking  to  target  the  business  community,   who   would   like   constant   Internet   access   and   other   features   on   their   phones,   the   RIM   BlackBerry  platform  will  be  your  most  sensible  choice.       If  the  application  is  intended  for  consumers  in  a  specific  industry,  then  one  must  consider  that   industry’s   characteristics   as   well   as   the   habits   of   the   already   existing   user   base,   i.e.,   what   devices  are  most  popular  within  each  industry.       For   corporations   and   large   companies   it   must   be   determined   whether   the   application   is   intended   for   internal   (enterprise)   or   external   (marketplace)   usage,   or   both.   One   must   also   consider  whether  the  application  is  intended  for  business  to  business  interactions  or  business   to  client  interactions.       C.  Distribution  and  Monetisation  Goals   Having   determined   the   functionality   and   the   target   audience   of   your   mobile   application,   you   must   now   consider   the   distribution   and   monetisation   goals   behind   development.   The   first   distinction  to  be  made  is  whether  or  not  the  app  is  intended  to  generate  revenue.  Even  though   a  large  number  of  apps  currently  on  the  market  are  available  for  free,  it  must  be  remembered   that  apps  can  be  monetised  both  directly,  via  revenue  generated  from  app  sales,  and  indirectly,   as  a  free  app,  in  the  following  ways:       Page  |  12    


‘How to  Choose  the  Right  Ecosystem  for  Your  Mobile  Application’    

-­‐ In-­‐app  sales,  e.g.,  free  apps  through  which  products  and  services  can  be  purchased.   -­‐  In-­‐app  advertising,  e.g.,  free  apps  that  feature  advertisements  within  their  interface.   -­‐   Freemium   versions,   e.g.,   free   version   of   an   app   that   entices   users   to   purchase   a   more   complete  version.     -­‐  Brand  building,  e.g.,  free  apps  that  promote  a  company  and  generate  business  down  the  line.     If  you  are  looking  to  generate  revenue  by  selling  your  app,  then  you  need  to  figure  out  the  right   price  point,  given  the  cost  of  development  and  distribution.  You  also  need  to  have  an  effective   marketing  strategy  in  place  that  ensures  that  users  can  easily  find  and  download  your  app.  For   further  information  on  this,  please  refer  to  Apppli’s  marketing  White  Paper-­‐  ‘The  Essentials  of   Mobile  App  Marketing.’     Each  mobile  platform  offers  different  income  opportunities.  If  the  goal  of  the  application  is   to   generate   steady   revenue,   then   target   the   mass   market   with   a   large   audience   for   your   product.  However,  when  targeting  the  high  end  business  user  with  more  disposable  income,   then  higher  end  products  would  be  more  successful.     4.  CONCLUSIONS     Formulating   an   effective   strategy   for   mobile   application   development   requires   a   thorough   understanding   of   the   current   ecosystem   landscape.     In   order   to   maximize   return   on   investment,  you  must  be  able  to  identify  the  ecosystem  that  will  give  the  end  user  the  best   possible  experience,  including  how  the  app  is  discovered,  downloaded  and  used.         While   ecosystem   diversity   provides   a   plethora   of   options   when   it   comes   to   application   development,  it  can  also  lead  to  confusion  and,  in  turn,  poor  choices  that  can  spell  disaster   for  your  application  campaign.  By  carefully  considering  the  functional  requirements  of  your   application,   realistically   determining   its   target   audience   and   deliberately   weighing   the   various   distribution/monetisation   options,   you   can   go   a   long   way   in   narrowing   down   ecosystem  choice.       Remember  that  while  the  size  of  sales  is  important,  the  end  user  always  needs  to  be  given   priority  over  everything  else.                 Page  |  13    


‘How to  Choose  the  Right  Ecosystem  for  Your  Mobile  Application’    

About Apppli     Apppli  is  a  full  service  app  development  and  app  marketing  firm  based  in  London.  We  design,   develop  and  promote  market-­‐leading  mobile  and  web  apps  and  software  solutions  for  clients   across  industries.     We   work   closely   with   our   clients   to   help   them   build   their   brand,   increase   productivity   and   improve   ROI.   Combining   a   rapid   go-­‐to-­‐market   model   with   extensive   industry   knowledge,   we   tailor  solutions  to  any  scope  or  budget.     Our  app  development  team  has  solid  experience  within  the  mobile  application  market;  having   successfully  reached  100,000s  of  downloads  for  our  past  clients.    

www.apppli.com   UK  (+44)  20  71127100      US  (+1)  800  282  0149  (Toll  free)  

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/531_apppli_wp_mobile_app_ecosystem_0911  

http://www.brandchannel.com/images/papers/531_apppli_wp_mobile_app_ecosystem_0911.pdf

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