Mobile apps want to put that smile back on your face
Mobility for business may certainly be on top of mind for many of the visitors flocking to GITEX TECHNOLOGY WEEK 2012. But in the middle of a busy day, it’s also helping put a much needed smile on many faces.
During my rounds at the show, I took some time to scan through partners showcasing front end mobile apps development and what’s out there certainly looks great. Interestingly, Arabic applications created to serve the needs of the regional market are on the uptake.
Two good examples to talk about would be Loool a social entertainment application for sharing Arabic jokes and Kitabi an e-book application for Arabic books, both built by Jordan-based OTS. Both applications have so far been available on the iOS platform and now are being extended onto the new BB10 platform from Blackberry, which promises a re-defined development environment for apps.
In a quick talk with Abdallah Al Khaldi, Product Manager from OTS I also find out that both these apps have helped developers like themselves tap into new markets including Arabic publishing and mobile advertising. The numbers are also interesting to consider.
So far Loool has hit the 500,000 download mark on the iOS platform and is now also available for the Android platform. Close to 250,000 jokes from across Arab users have been shared.
It’s also becoming a melting pot of Arab cultures from across the region and people are getting together to have fun and share. So much so, that now Loool has introduced different categories for the joke split by countries from the Middle East. The application also offers mobile advertising opportunities for brands wanting to reach out to the user base.
Kitabi on the other hand has now given Arabic writers from the region a chance to self-publish their writing for a regional audience, offering the developer a revenue model based on e-book downloads.
A viable business model in the making
It’s not just fun that is driving the mobile app ecosystem. There’s money to be made as well, with the ecosystem e application ecosystem is also proving to be a commercially viable business opportunity.
According to Gartner estimates mobile apps themselves will not only generate good revenue ($15.9 billion in expected end-user spending in 2012) but will also drive hardware sales, advertising spending and technology innovation.
The analyst also expects brand companies to increasingly shift their marketing budget to the mobile channel, and experiment with cutting-edge apps to capture marketing and sales opportunities.
So this means good news for companies, technology and service providers who take the cue and make their mobile apps stand out from the pack. From what I’ve seen at the show, it looks like it’s already happening.