Sunday, 2 February 2014

Why the Mobile App Business Needs Immediate Intervention

The other day I read an article on why the mobile app business is NOT the business to be in. Some parts of the article made sense, and even though I want to rubbish the article, there is one part of me that believes in what the author wrote. 

We usually only want to believe and hear the rosy stories. The 18 year old who made millions by selling an app he developed in high school, or about the guy who moved from a one bedroom apartment to a mansion in Florida. Lets face it, the chances of that happening to us is zilch. Not because we cannot make decent apps, but because the app stores are now overcrowded. Yeah, theres tons of apps out there. And the worse part is most of these apps are free. I mean think about it, if there is a butt ugly app out there, doing 70% of the things that your charming app does, and is free, your out of the race man. No man in his right state of mind is going to pay 99 cents for your wonderful app if there is a free substitute out there.

Now its because of this precise reason that the ridiculous concept of in-app purchasing has blossomed. We cannot charge for our apps, but we have to make money, so what do we do? We give our apps away for free, in the hope that maybe 1% of the folks who download our app, purchase a part of it. The concept of in-app purchases is just so flawed. If it were to happen in retail, we would have Walmart selling free shampoos without caps. If you want to walk out with a cap on your shampoo, please pay 99 cents. 

This is where I think Google and Apple should intervene. If they want to make a business out of their app stores, want healthy competition, then they better do something. I don't know what, I really don't have a solution, but I hope they find one fast.

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