Does your digital strategy need an app?

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Does your digital strategy need an app?
Does your digital strategy need an app?

On May 26, Nokia launched its Ovi Store, an online software and content repository, to an estimated 50 million Nokia device owners worldwide. The company is currently building out its selection of applications and allowing publishers to upload new content. The mobile content market is forecast to end the year at $62 billion, according to research firm Strategy Analytics.

“We've seen great registration activity from [publishers] around the world,” Andrew Flowers, communications manager for Nokia's Services division, said in an e-mail to DMNews.

Apple still leads the pack in the US: The company's App Store saw 1 billion downloads in less than a year. AT&T, the provider of service to Apple's iPhone, plans to make Ovi Store available to its customers in the US later this year.

For mobile device makers and cell phone carriers, providing consumers applications enriches user experience, explained Flowers. But with so many eyeballs on mobile applications, marketers are taking note of the media as well.

An April Mobile Metrics Report from AdMob noted that Gartner estimated global smartphone sales at 12% of total device sales in 2008, while 35% of AdMob's worldwide ad requests came from smartphones — suggesting that they account for nearly three times more mobile Web usage than their device market share, the report said.

This comes as no surprise to Kevin Grieve, CEO of Mocapay. His gift card company launched an iPhone application last week and plans a Blackberry application in the fourth quarter of this year.

“Smartphone users have spent a lot of money on their phones and work to use the full capabilities of those phones,” Grieve said. He added that the launch of a Mocapay mobile application was received well by its retail partners, who find them more appealing to customers than SMS.

Grieve declined to say for certain whether Mocapay would produce an application for Nokia. “We'll move based on market share,” he said.

Julie Ask, VP at Forrester Research, expects mobile app marketing to become mainstream. “Having an iPhone application no longer translates into portraying a hip or tech-savvy image to your customers. It is more me-too,” she said.”



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