This week’s Mobile Monday was focussed around the Vision Mobile Developer Economics Report 2011. It’s a great report — just like last year. A brilliant idea from BlueVia to open up their research and very well executed by Vision Mobile.
It was a good panel too — with Simon Walker providing the stats on the past and a balance of present and future from the three others.
Summary of the Developer Economics Report 2011
Presented by Eli Camillieri @visionmobile
- interviewed over 900 developers worldwide
- also interviewed brands as to what they wanted
- mobile web accelerating into third position after Android then iOS
- overtaken JavaME, Symbian and Blackberry since last year
- Windows Phone 7 not in second place but people want to develop on it
- Symbian & JavaME now completely out of the equation
- Talking about addressable market: put the app in front of people who will use it and continue using it
- iOS still leads for monetisation, but mobile web has the least broken expectations
- Over 20% of JavaME and Blackberry developers building over 10 versions of each app
- Brands journey through mobile from iOS, through Android to mobile web (then eventually to all mobile)
- but most organisations are still on the first step and just about taking the second…
Chaired by Eli Camillieri of Vision Mobile.
- Simon Davies, ex-Snaptu @simonmd
- taking smart-ish apps to developing markets
- Snaptu sold to Facebook in April
- Simon Walker, ComScore @comscoreEMEA
- 48.5 million used a mobile phone to do something
- 23 million people downloaded an app
- Chad Cribbins, Sapient Nitro @chadcribbins
- Tom Hume, Future Platforms @twhume
- 100K downloads for Orange Glastonbury app
- work across pretty much any platform that’s out there (and quite a few that aren’t yet)
Native vs web
- CC: lots of work to start across all platforms
- if there’s something that you can do that accesses the device itself, then go for native, otherwise go for mobile web
- TH: there’s an awful lot of wishful thinking in the industry
- expectations of performance are being driven by native
- the web doesn’t offer that yet
- in fact, native will always be better
- so web technologies will always be slightly behind what the user expects
- SW: bank usage:
- only 500K browsed Lloyds site on mobile web last year and raised only slightly this year
- NatWest mobile web 250K last year, 495K this year; 470K app usage this year catching up fast
Commercials: which are the most successful models?
- SD: last thing to arrive in a marketplace is revenue
- setting out to build a business at the immature stage: either have a very clear idea of business model, or else aim for selling the business
- TH: Orange (Glasto) & BBC apps about marketing and exposure, not about making a return
- CC: banks going after a more connected service — trying to avoid churn
- cf. autotrader app about capturing number plates and going straight to sales
- SW: in Europe 72% of mobile users don’t use an app at all
- EC: unless some fail, we won’t see innovation
Localisation — are developers looking at a local level?
- SD: at this stage of the marketplace you really do need to be as global as you can
- TH: most localisation-driven apps at FP have been OEM ones — wanting to launch worldwide
- TH: UK is well ahead of rest of Europe in smartphone Europe
- so deal with UK first since you will get best returns and then attack rest of Europe
Importance of the social curve
- SW: Facebook April 2011: 3.6 billion minutes on mobile
- May 2010 8.2 million browser / 2.4 million app
- May 2011 10 million browser / 9 million app
- TH: can’t remember the last time we got a briefing that didn’t include sharing with Facebook or Twitter — it’s just a standard part of apps these days
Are app stores declining? How do people find apps?
- EC: traffic to and from app stores will continue to increase, BUT brands are now driving the apps themselves directly (rather than people just browsing the app stores themselves)
- SD: app stores are just a place to discover apps — in the beginning the only place
- SW: most people accessing app stores from device rather than PC
- data is more expensive in Europe
- EC: Current app stores could be supermarkets
Economics: earning an income from apps
- EC: How do you bring an app to market?
- How come there aren’t that many marketing people in app companies?
- App stores give you no idea who’s buying your app…
- Need to marry technical with marketing & commercial
- North America doing better at that than Europe
- Techies understanding who they need to partner with
- TH: difficult to find good people, especially speculatively
- SD: met his technical partner at a barbecue :-)
Are people leaving the market if it’s such a tough gig?
- EC: just because you’re not making enough money, doesn’t mean that you’re going to stop
- e.g I’m sure many musicians are unsatisfied with the amount of money they are making
- TH: we’ve just been on the Apprentice — in the public perception, this is a really hot space to be
- SD: Dragon’s Den — should just create an app to give advice to entrepreneurs
How do I find an app?
- SD: usual channels — community, press, word of mouth
- that process has just started
- SW: most people now just expect an app for something
- adverts focussing on 13-25 year old audience just don’t have mobile presence
What aspects make you prick your ears of app ideas?
- Liz Myers thinks 3 main needs of the user: microtasking, bored, local (from Tapworthy)
Correlation between marketing spend and success?
- CC: over a long haul it’s the user experience
Mobile cannibalising a lot of other channels — where is it going?
- SW: big shake up coming in the next year to 18 months
- “it’s all going to the cloud”
- should start taking points from 3-5 years ago from web to our advantage
- SD: lots of things happening with mobile experience happening in parallel (e.g. lots of people watching a TV programme and doing something on their mobile at the same time)
- Indonesia — more mobiles than TVs
- Google, Facebook have the users and will pay for content
- TV programming for mobile
- TH: the ad-contrarian debunking idea that people have stopped watching TV
- mobile will be the primary way of going online
Best and worst bits of the report?
- TH: surprised at commercial performance of JavaME
- better than Symbian and Android
- very low value on pre-loading applications
- would have expected to have seen many more pre-installed apps
- SD: Qt — although Nokia sinking, it will have such a huge oil-tanker like effect…
- Windows Phone 7 “interesting” but not being used
- Very difficult to hire Android developers at the moment
- EC: surprised how many developer were working on multiple platforms
- if Android in such demand would expect to see people focussing on it
- SW: Microsoft grew by 93% but still only 3%…
Is enthusiasm for Windows Phone 7 just for another platform to port to?
- EC: actually talking about B2B opportunities
- CC: heard similar
- TH: Windows Phone 7 will be hard to do in HTML5
- Nokia know a thing or two about getting hardware out there
Papaya mobile: JavaME money being made by people who did fragmentation solutions
HTML5 vs apps again…
- CC: Google have done Lego Star Wars in HTML5 — it’s powerful enough!
- SW: As a user, I don’t care where it comes from
- SD: remove the URL bar and you’re on your way
- excited by Android on MTK devices
- common denominator will be Android
- will therefore be HTML5 compatible
- SD: do not drop your iPhone in a lock near St Ives!
- SW: 90% Apple devices use apps vs much lower Symbian
- cf market coverage: 3.9% Apple; 15% Symbian
- TH: discovery is not a new problem
- in 1st century AD, Seneca complained that “the abundance of books is a distraction”…
- EC: when my mum, on her own, tells my dad which app to download, then we’ve hit the mass market!
- Next momolo probably in September
- Over The Air 2011: 30th September & 1st October at Bletchley Park
- looking for sessions, speakers, sponsors