Living in a mobile world: the effect of App Store

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I guess I am obsessed with all things Apple, but I could not resist writing about this. The App Store for iPhone/iPod Touch is in the news constantly for both the wrong reasons and the right ones. Apart from changing the we use a mobile phone (a music player, an internet device) it is slowly creating an alternate revenue stream for developers. It is still early days for the App Store, but it is phenomenal that 10 million applications were downloaded in the first week. Take for example, a crossword application called 2 Across, which sells for $5.99 at the App Store. According to the developer of the app, Eliza Block, she has been earning almost $2,000 per day on the application , quite a bit more than she was expecting to make. While it is encouraging a group of developers to create apps and get rich, it is sure to have a huge impact on the user.

The big implication is the engagement factor with the mobile device. It is a high involvement, personal device which calls for the user to closely interact with it. But the quality of engagement is going to change for ever. This might as well be the end of conversation. When not taking calls or sending SMS, the iPhone is likely to obsess the user with games, utilities (like blogging tools, currency converters, stock prices) and other time-pass activities. This in turn will force advertisers to take fresh look at mobile advertising. The content has to be as rich and engaging as the apps on the iPhone.

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