I’ve been saying for several months now that the vast majority of Apps in the future will be free
The strategic imperative for companies of all sizes, brands, retailers, small businesses to launch iPhone Apps has never been greater. Before the change in policy, in order to ever sell anything or charge for anything through an App the App could not be free. So developers had to offer a lite version, and then a paid version. For Brands, if they had any hope of selling or monetizing usage over time, they had to sell the App. Yesterday’s change further cements the perfect analogy with websites — you can go to the vast majority of them for free, and publishers have a myriad set of ways in which to monetise consumers’ engagement.
With yesterday’s announcement, every company out there can offer a free iPhone App, thereby reducing the friction of driving adoption, knowing that over time they can work with their consumers to find offers that make sense for both parties. At the Apps For Brands Conference we co-produced with Advertising Age in September, we heard again and again the incredible engagement and passion of the iPhone customer. Couple that data with the iPhone’s incredible market share growth – reported to now be 30% of the US Smartphone market, as reported by Alley Insider, and the marching orders to businesses are clear: Develop an iPhone App!
As I’ve also been saying (click for my most recent interview with Robert Scoble), this also means that the number of iPhone Apps will balloon from the current 90,000 or so to well over 1,000,000 in very short order. The challenges facing consumers to find iPhone Apps and for businesses to drive adoption of these apps will continue to exponentially grow, and we think the only scalable answer to this challenge will be the harnessing of word-of-mouth to drive true value to consumers and corporations.
At Appolicious, our goal continues to be to enable folks to find iPhone Apps by connecting to friends, and friends and friends; and to help corporations drive adoption by unleashing the power of word of mouth for the quality apps they create.