Hello everyone, and thank you. I’m Michael Boord, the acting director of mobile for the associated press. What I’d like to do is give you an understanding of the current app landscape, discuss the challenges in selecting what platforms to go after and also to discuss a little bit about the development behind that from our experience. I’ll walk you thru some of the anecdotal stories of things that we have dealt with being in a little bit of a unique situation.
So just to give you some context from my experience and where I am coming from….
When you are talking about developing apps, you have to start with some basic questions. Do you want a social life? Do you ever want to see your family again? How the industry will drive product strategy and business model. Iphone - announcing on thurs - assumption is ad platform (iAd). Google just bought AdMob.
Let’s make this an interactive session Let’s first start with U.S. Market Share
Who’s coming to your party? If you are looking for a global audience then you cannot forget about the big dogs - Nokia, Samsung
Apple is both the largest today and the fast growing in sheer numbers (8x larger than any other store). There is a direct correlation between the two.
Prices across the store even for the same app is different – base mins. that exist
I’m not here to give you the answers, Iam here to share our experiences and to get you thinking about critical issues that will affect the platforms that you select. Obviously Apple has an incredibly strong brand and following but what is it about iPhone that makes it the first platform that people think about when they want to create an app?
Installed in a couple of places…maybe on your memory card or in device memory
So let’s dive a step deeper. Within one form factor in BB, and one model line, there are 5 devices. So that multiplies my development effort and maintenance effort - and likely not linearly.
Strategy is to move beyond ap mobile
In 2007/2008 when AP was thinking about a mobile strategy we decided to focus on smartphones. Although it was only about 10% of the market at the time we saw this as the direction the industry was moving and the best way to leverage our resources for the type of content that we produce. By the middle of next year smartphones will make up 50% of the market. Let me repeat that - by middle of next year, smartphones will make of 50% of the market. So while the slope is steep, that mean that by middle of next you are still only hitting 50% of the market. Point is, don’t forget about feature phones, it’s still a huge number.
So now I am looking at bang for my buck.
Think Mobile April 2010_Michael Boord_Ap mobile
Mobile App Platform Survey: Is it all about the iPhone? ThinkMobile – April 8, 2010
Associated Press AP is the Essential Global News Network 247 Bureaus in 97 countries 4, 000+ Journalists, Photographers, and Employees 49 Pulitzers (30 for Photography) Cover all Subject Areas Entertainment, Sports, Politics, Lifestyle, Business … All Media Types Text, Photos and Videos Core Principals Fast, Trustworthy, Comprehensive Half of the world’s population sees news from the AP on any given day…
Getting Started: 5 Things to decide <ul><li>What is your mobile product strategy? </li></ul><ul><li>What is the business model? </li></ul><ul><li>Who is going to build your mobile product(s)? </li></ul><ul><li>How will you support it? </li></ul><ul><li>How will you distribute/market your mobile product(s)? </li></ul>
Type of App - Questions to ask <ul><li>Free or paid </li></ul><ul><li>Customer support levels </li></ul><ul><li>Touch, non-touch or both </li></ul><ul><li>Requires a network connection to operate or update </li></ul><ul><li>Ads </li></ul><ul><li>Offline functionality (local storage) </li></ul><ul><li>Linking out with app in background </li></ul><ul><li>Marketing </li></ul><ul><li>Distribution (US or global?) </li></ul><ul><li>App or Widget? </li></ul>
Feature Phones are Still Important 36% Smartphone Feature Phones 64% Source: Millennial Media (Oct. 2009) U.S. Share of Impressions By Phone Type
U.S. Market Share <ul><li>Share of Smartphone Market </li></ul>
Who is your audience and what OS will best reach them?
Store Size Source: Distimo (Feb. 2010) Total Number of Apps January 2010 (000’) New Applications per Month December 2009 - January 2010 #
Prices in Stores U.S. App Stores Average Price Source: Distimo (Feb. 2010)
Why Does the iPhone Win Out (today)? Apple App Store Standard Form Factor & Features
Apple iTunes vs. Blackberry App World Apple iTunes Pre-loaded Easy to navigate Seamless incorporation of apps with the device Lives in device content management location (iTunes) BlackBerry App World Has to be downloaded to device Hard to navigate Downloads executable potentially installed in a couple of places Only lives on the device
Blackberry Form Factor & Features 10 different model sets Differences Screen size Input method Processor Connectivity Mobile Networks … Bold Storm
Blackberry Form Factor & Features 10 different model sets Logistical Nightmare
…but is the iPhone the Place to Start? There are over 160,000 apps in the marketplace. App prices are dropping to basement levels. How do you make yourself discoverable in this space? What marketing budget would that take?
Usage <ul><li>A recent study by Pinch Media found that only about 20% of iPhone users return to a free app after downloading it. A month later, the percentage was only 5%. The drop-off for paid apps was even steeper. </li></ul>
AP Mobile: Complete News Solution AP Mobile launched in July, 2008. Today it stands as the most complete mobile news solution on 14 platforms (18 by year end), providing coverage to every web-enabled device in over 40 countries. <ul><li>AP Mobile Snapshot </li></ul><ul><li>2010 </li></ul><ul><li>1,200 contributing local news partners in U.S., providing unparalleled local customization and access </li></ul><ul><li>50 news categories from Entertainment to Sports to Politics, with 20% of traffic in local category </li></ul><ul><li>Over 3,500,000 application downloads since launch </li></ul><ul><li>Over 400,000 videos and 1.8 million photos viewed per month </li></ul><ul><li>Support in multiple languages and growing </li></ul><ul><li>Platforms and carriers: </li></ul><ul><li>Applications across platforms: iPhone (iPad), BlackBerry, Palm Pre, Nokia, Windows Mobile, Android, Maemo, Mobile Web App (apnews.com), Canadian Press (French and English), U.S. Spanish </li></ul><ul><li>Carrier relationships both domestic and international: Telef ó nica, Orange, America M ó vil, AT&T, Verizon, Virgin Mobile, US Cellular </li></ul><ul><li>Future Platforms: Mobile Internet Devices, Netbooks, and the like </li></ul>
What type of Phone do you Focus on? By Mid-2011 150MM U.S. Subs
What we look for in a developer <ul><li>Best of breed </li></ul><ul><li>Platform specialists </li></ul><ul><li>Recommended by OEM </li></ul><ul><li>Flexible </li></ul><ul><li>Deep ties into OEM support channels </li></ul><ul><li>Small team, fewer hands on code </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t tell me you can build for any platform </li></ul>
Development Process Concept Requirements Mockups UI/UX design Iterative Development Select Developer Testing Alpha/Beta Candidate User Feedback Design Modifications Feature Enhancements Launch Testing Design Development
Pitfalls <ul><li>Trying to do too much </li></ul><ul><li>Too much reliance on or outgrow a vendor - what if they go out of business or lose key employees. Do you have sufficient controls to move the code to a new vendor? </li></ul><ul><li>Vendor lock via sdk or platform </li></ul><ul><li>Working with too many vendors </li></ul>
Is it all about the iPhone? <ul><li>Think about what platforms and distribution outlets serve your interest and what resources you have to achieve those goals </li></ul><ul><li>Apple still makes up a small piece of the pie. Explore a multi-platform approach. </li></ul><ul><li>Think cross-platform (Flash, Silverlight, QT) </li></ul><ul><li>They want a big cut. Their risk is distributed and limited, yours isn’t </li></ul><ul><li>You need a long term view of the world </li></ul><ul><li>Think globally (Nokia? Samsung?) </li></ul>