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Study: 'Bulk apps' responsible for App Store volume growth
|17 июля 2009|
Mass-produced "bulk apps"--i.e., template-based mobile applications sold at the same price point with the same look and feel but different content--are responsible for the spike in applications added to Apple's App Store during the first six months of 2009, according to a new study published by hybrid location system developer Skyhook Wireless.
Skyhook reports that the App Store (which now offers more than 65,000 total iPhone and iPod touch apps, according to Apple) added thousands of 99-cent bulk apps during the first half of the year, noting one unnamed developer sells more than 850 travel applications based on the same template, with each individual app swapping out content based on specific vacation destinations. These mass-produced local search and travel guide apps now account for around one third of total iPhone LBS apps, Skyhook adds.
"The release of bulk apps is a monetization strategy. These developers aim to sell many apps at low price points and low volumes, rather than millions of downloads of one killer app," said Skyhook Wireless director of marketing and developer programs Kate Imbach in a prepared statement. "There is not yet a well-understood path to monetization for mobile apps. Developers are experimenting with various price points, mobile advertising and virtual goods. Creating a catalog of bulk apps is another new and unproven marketing method for mobile apps. As developers experiment with these strategies, it will be interesting to see if bulk apps gain traction."
Apps at the 99-cent price point dominate sales in both the App Store and Google's Android Market, Skyhook notes--only a handful of applications sell for $6 to $8.99, although some location apps sell for $9.99 or higher in both storefronts, most them tied to navigation solutions or sports like golf and sailing. Nokia's fledgling Ovi Store offers significantly fewer location apps than its rivals, with only 2 percent of Ovi apps incorporating LBS--a somewhat surprising number given Nokia's $8.1 billion acquisition of navigation software developer Navteq.