Welcome to ZenUnwired; a blog dedicated to tracking developments in technology and strategy, and to deciphering the impact of these developments on wired and wireless ISP's, device manufacturers, OS and application developers, and most importantly - you.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Sticky Apps focus on the Voice of the Customer

Flurry Analytics released a study today aimed at ascertaining app developers ‘heritage’, by creating an index that took into account application rankings across the top 100 paid and top 100 free categories (so 200 apps across about 140,000 available). What they found is that among the apps surveyed, developers generally came from a broad mix. The ‘heritage’ categories they identified were:

  1. Native iPhone: Companies founded to create applications for iPhone (e.g., Freeverse, PageOnce)
  2. Traditional Media: Companies established on Film, TV, Print and Radio (e.g., Disney, TBS, NYT) 
  3. Mobile: Companies having started on J2ME, BREW, BlackBerry, etc. (e.g., Digital Chocolate, eBuddy) 
  4. Retail & CPG: Brick-and-mortar companies or ones that manufacture goods (e.g., The Gap, DKNY, Kraft) 
  5. Online: Companies who began on the web including e-Commerce, social networks, online gaming, streaming music, etc. (e.g., Google, eBay, Facebook, Pandora, PopCap, Zynga)
  6. Traditional Gaming: Video game companies from console, portable or PC (e.g., EA, Activision)

I already referenced a Pew Study in one of my earlier posts that pointed to the fact that US consumers are already consuming a large chunk of their news online. In addition, mobile access to social networking sites is growing faster than access via traditional PC’s. While all of these data-points bode well for established businesses, it also means that native iPhone developers will find it harder to differentiate and compete with the heavyweights. As expected, Flurry believes that native apps may make up an even smaller piece of the overall pie in the future.

Even though the Flurry study just focused on iPhone apps, the findings are relevant to app developers across all mobile OS platforms. In this ultra-fragmented app marketplace and given the competitive pressures, app developers must now face up to the fact that going forward it will be extremely challenging to create a ‘sticky’ app. That said, customers still have needs that aren’t being satisfied with available apps. So what are customers looking for? This survey by Compete should point you in the right direction.