Trends in the app industry

Claes Magnusson is the principal at Malmö Yrkeshögskola, a college that provides training in app development and mobile e-commerce. This article is taken from our publication ”App app app app app”.

App availability and usage are both going to increase dramatically. One simple explanation of the popularity of apps is that for the first time, apps make it possible to “package” the internet in a way that wide user groups find easy to understand and easy to use.

App usage is going to spread. Not only to our computers, but also our TVs, appliances, cars, production devices and other equipment.

Just as web production rates dropped from the heights of the mid-nineties down to the more reasonable levels of today, app production is going to get less expensive. And just as with web production, the developers who can stop obsessing with code, technology and programming and concentrate on helping the client do business better will be the winners.

App availability and usage will continue increasing dramatically, but will be augmented with content that should not and does not need to be packaged in app form, but is better made available via new and open standards for Cross Mobile production like HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript. We believe new forms of combinations – “hybrid apps” – will become more widespread in the future, in the media industry for example.

Currently, the iPhone is first in the demand stakes. The iPad has taken over second place, with Android coming in third. If the app is to be free or ad-financed, it naturally has to be made for a wide range of platforms and versions of Android.

With a quarter of a billion registered, credit-card-carrying users, we believe Apple will expand to new kinds of purchases, such as building in modules for Near Field Communication (NFC) and enabling purchase of bus tickets and similar.

We think Android is going to change and be “forked” or divided up into different variants, by a manufacturer for instance, but perhaps most of all for other uses, such as appliances, TVs and cars.

We see a risk for greater market elimination among many of the current mobile phone makers, since the industry seems to be endlessly topped up with new challengers offering lower and lower prices but can offer the same experience through Android.

Summary

  • The money for paid apps and media is currently with Apple
  • The major user volumes will be with Android
  • Apps will become even more important and will spread to other devices
  • Hybrid apps and Cross Mobile publication skills will be essential
  • App development prices are going to drop
  • Breakthrough for mobile e-commerce when Apple activates NFC in mobile phones
  • Risk for greater market elimination among mobile phone manufacturers: betting on the right horse will be important
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