Saturday, December 04, 2010

The Mobile Era

These years are the glory time for mobile application development industry worldwide and in the MENA region.
why so ?
let's have a look at the numbers related to mobile phones:

in 2007 Egypt had 30,065,000 mobile phones used in the egyptian market .. approximately it was 40% of egypt's population.
in Saudi Arabia in 2006 there were 19,663,000 mobile devices in the market.
These numbers have increased , it's nearly impossible to find a grown-up person or even a teen-ager who doesn't have at least one mobile device and many people nowadays own smart phones. even "dumb phones" are smarter than before :)

Mobile apps development is a very important discipline to put your investment in because of the above numbers and the following two reasons:

  1. People tend to be near their mobile device all the time they are awake , so it is a great platform for advertisers.
  2.  The mobile apps distribution channels are the best out there among all software distribution channels, you just publish your app to one of the app stores, advertise somewhere .. and people will download it. This is magic , thanks for apple for (as far as i know)inventing this great distribution model .
    This reveals many opportunities for innovators and mobile application development companies.But there are also many challenges.

    For your app being surrounded by other 299,999 apps . You have severe competition.
    One customer will select an app to download from punch of apps, what will make it yours and not one of others' apps?

    You have to fight in many fields:
    1. Quality field: people believe that high quality product is worth their money
    2. Price field: people don't wanna spend too much money on your app, don't make you app more expensive than it deserves to be.
    3. Creativity: going to ideas that have not been implemented by others , this give you the lead.
      - Unless you are making a very trivial thing, you will lead in triviality at the end :) -

    Concluding this post , this is the era of mobile platforms with high potential towards mobile apps and mobile advertising and it is full of challenges and opportunities.

    One of my fears is the transfer of this great opportunity to be a nightmare and waking up some day to hear about the "mobile app bubble " as we learned about the "dotCom bubble" before. 
    Helpful resources:
    1. 50+ mobile statistics
    2. List of countries by number of mobile phones in use

    Bassem Elhaouary