Tag Archive for 'developer program'

You’re on an app store; now what?

We’ve asked our speakers and sponsors to provide some blog fodder as a lead up to our WIPJam Session on October 8 @ CTIA in San Diego!

mitch_oliver_croppedThe following is brought to you by Mitch Oliver, vice president of ecosystem development for Qualcomm.

Although the mobile applications market has been evolving since 2001, the year Qualcomm launched one of the first app stores with BREW, the pace of innovation has picked up significantly over the past two years. Following the launch of the iPhone 3G in 2008, with which Apple became the poster-child for the modern day “App Store”, there has been a proliferation of market channels for mobile apps.

This competition for attention appears to be paying dividends for developers. Industry efforts to improve the quality of tools, lower the cost of testing and certification, speed time to market, and (most importantly) promote these solutions to consumers have resulted in an explosion of applications. While a catalog of several hundred applications used to be considered a well-stocked store, now the benchmark may be more like the thousands.

The problem is that it’s getting harder and harder for developers to stand out in today’s mobile app stores. A lucky few have a truly ground-breaking application, or sufficient negotiating power, to get featured in a national ad campaign or placed at the top of the store. What about the rest?

This is an increasingly well documented problem in the blogosphere. While a long-tail of content is ultimately good for the consumer, developers need new ways to manage the marketing of their application in a crowded space and consumers need better ways to filter their choices. Here, we’d like to offer a few thoughts on the things that developers should be asking of their app store partners to improve the merchandising and management of their applications:

  • Tools that allow developers to directly influence consumer purchase behavior. These can encompass traditional promotional vehicles such as in-store banners and microstores, but consideration should also be given to the use of externally driven tools such as deep-linking to content in the storefront from messages or third party sites (developer websites, social networks). Flexible pricing models, including trials, time-based “passes”, upgrades, and two-fers, in addition to paid placements are also important elements in the promotional mix.

  • A strong recommendations engine is a big plus. This exposes consumers to a broader range of content than they may have otherwise discovered while also managing the paradox of choice. By allowing the right content to find willing consumers over time, and moving from search to discovery, the overall ecosystem can support a greater range of viable, long-tail content . In Qualcomm’s experience content uplifts in excess of 20% are possible with good quality recommendations.

  • Lastly, reporting and analytics tools that allow developers to track their performance, understand revenue drivers and evaluate the impact of placement, campaigns and pricing models are key to bring this all together and optimize the marketing mix. These should be simple, straightforward and offer a way to compare different channels.

Qualcomm is addressing a number of these areas today with the Plaza suite of products. However, we also need to come together as an industry to truly realize the potential of mobile merchandising and marketing. Join me at the upcoming WIPJAM @ CTIA for a lively discussion on merchandising and marketing your applications. Look forward to jamming with you!

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Carnival of Mobilists #186

Carnival #186 at allaboutiPhone.net is a speed write from host Matt Radford that deftly touches important bases so you can jump to the week’s best mobile blogging. Check out Chetan Sharma’s latest US Wireless Data Market Update - Q2 2009. It’s crammed full of interesting analysis including the following: The App vs. Mobile Web discussion reached a surprisingly new crescendo. The evolution is pretty clear - for the applications that don’t require significant UI resources, it will be better to develop in for the browser, for intensive games, the native platform will be ahead of the browser advances. The location API access on the iPhone browser is breakthrough to have developers start thinking about the webapps.

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Caroline Lewko, Founder and CEO, WIP, named to Top 10 Women in Wireless

caroline-pictureHere at WIP, we are thrilled that our Founder and CEO, Caroline Lewko, has been named as one of the top 10 Women in Wireless by FierceWireless.

Fierce Wireless selected the top 10 for their accomplishments, their technical savvy, their leadership-and perhaps most importantly, their influence on the industry. As stated in their publication “These are the women who you often see speaking at industry events, working on various committees or negotiating tough deals. From entrepreneurs who have turned their passions into successful ventures to savvy executives who are climbing the corporate ladder in traditionally male-dominated firms, these are the women that the industry should keep an eye on in 2009 and beyond.”

Caroline is in great company on the Top 10 Women in Wireless list. She is joined by the following dynamic women: Cathy Avgiris, Comcast; Jill Braff, Glu Mobile; Venetia Espinoza, T- Mobile; Peggy Johnson, Qualcomm; Selino Lo, Ruckus Wireless; Kelly Owens St. Julian, Boost Mobile; Viviane Reding, European commissioner for Information Society and Media; Cher Wang, Co-founder and chairperson of HTC; and Christy Wyatt, Motorola.

Many of you know Caroline as the “connector”. In fact, she describes herself as a consummate ‘connector’ with a passion for wireless! Active in the wireless/telecom industry since 1995, she has been a coder, funder, business developer and entrepreneur. She is sought out by investors and C level executives for insights, contacts and advice; and has advised and funded hundreds of companies.

If you haven’t met Caroline yet, you probably will-very soon. She spends much of her time traveling around the world, attending conferences and doing what she does best-bringing together various industry players.

At WIP, we aim to bring developers together with the rest of the wireless ecosystem to help shorten development times and foster innovation. We give emerging wireless companies an extra edge in getting products and services to market with global partnerships, events like WIPJam Sessions; Go to Market programs and websites like the WIPwiki (a membership and resource tool). WIP partners with wireless organizations and Developer Programs around the world. According to FierceWireless, “At a time when mobile developers are in high demand, an organization such as WIP is providing a tremendous service to the developer community.” More information about Caroline and WIP is available on our website.

It is interesting to note that Caroline is the only woman on the list who Tweets.

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Oh What A Night!

The Dev Program Bowling Smackdown held April 2 after the Jam Session was a perfect ending to a great day of Jam’n. Nine teams lead by Developer program representatives battled it out on the bowling lanes for the right to claim the title of “Best Bowlers”. The title goes to The Blackberry Bruisers! Congratulations!

Here are the Smackdown results:

  • 1st - The Blackberry Bruisers with an average score of 118 points
  • 2nd – The AT&T ATTackers – 115 points
  • 3rd - The Microsoft Incredibowls – 104 points
  • The ACCESS King Pins – 103 points
  • The OMTP Surfers – 102 points
  • The Symbian Sizzlers – 100 points
  • The Sun Hyper Strikers – 98 points
  • The Sony Ericsson High Rollers – 97 points
  • The Oracle Gutter Brawlers – 86 points


JameokeIt was an evening of bowling, networking, laughing and singing. Yes, by popular demand, Jameoke was back, lead by Stephen from Mob4Hire! “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” was a crowd favourite once again.

Thank you to our sponsors. Without you, these great events would not be possible. Special thanks to Symbian for the bowling team T-shirts!

Please see video coverage of the event! WIP Jam Dev Program Bowling Smackdown

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And the winner of the most important API of 2009 is….

We’ve asked our discussion leaders for WIPJam session to share their insight of the mobile developer world. This post was penned by James Parton, Head of O2 Litmus, the mobile developer programme with a twist and a sponsor of the WIP Jam Session at Mobile World Congress 2009 (#MWC09). 

Open source, crowd sourcing, app stores, open networks, Web 2.0, Mobile 2.0, co-creation, user generated content. It’s clear that the future of application development is a hot industry topic.

Tip your hat to Apple. They have quickly transformed a cottage industry, struggling to find a poster child, into a serious business in a very short space of time. Through great end-to-end user experience – often overlooked by many in the area - we now have people buying apps on a regular basis. If you had asked those same people 6 months ago what kind of app they were interested in, they would have struggled to even define what an app was, let alone have a clear view on what was missing from their app life.

This wave has also beached in corporate boardrooms with many companies now launching or planning to launch app stores in reaction to the success of the Apple App Store. This leads us to ask where will the industry be in 6 months time?

Put yourself in the shoes of the customer for a second. They switch on their PCs and are be offered applications by their internet service provider. They then go to their favourite portal and may be offered applications, next they will see sponsored links for applications from their search engine.

Next they then pull their mobile phone out of their pocket and see an application store from their handset manufacturer, and sitting next that is the icon for their mobile network’s app store. Confused? Just imagine what the customer is thinking.

On the surface this explosion of app stores is a good thing for developers – more places to sell your apps means more people buying those apps, right

However, this could be misleading. Many of these app stores are using aggregators to fill them up. This may lead to the vast majority of stores containing identical catalogues.

I can see parallels between the growing app market and digital music. Research has shown that over 90% of digital music catalogues are never downloaded. It’s an extreme example of Prato’s law. Are App stores already following the same path?

If these stores are filled by aggregators, and managed by marketers believing it’s all about catalogue, how do you as a developer get noticed? You want your app to be Smells Like Teen Spirit, and avoid being the obscure Cat Stevens B side from 1967 that no one wants!

So how do you solve this problem?

Customers. They are out there. They have an opinion. They are potential consumers of your products. You should get to know them, and love them. If you want to be successful, you have to prioritise customer relationship and service. Don’t just focus on the next feature you can build into your software

Going back to my digital music analogy, we are going to see a huge attrition rate for apps. Thousands will never be downloaded or make profit. Can you afford to burn time and money speculating on what customers might want? Why not ask them before you commitment your engineering resource

How do you find and reach these customers?

You should be seeking out partners that provide the most important API going forward. The winner of the most important API of 2009? It’s the Customer API.

Wouldn’t it be refreshing if a large organisation was willing to step out of the way and let you interact directly with its customers? You would be able to demonstrate, co-develop and refine your product directly with end users?

This has to be a win – win approach. You save time and effort by refining your ideas before commercially launching, the end user feels empowered by helping to improve the products they and their friends will end up using, plus they get to experience these apps before anyone else – very different to a traditional retail environment where you buy and either love or hate the app you get.

Come and check us out here and upload your apps: www.o2litmus.co.uk
or you can contact me directly via Twitter: www.twitter.com/jamesparton

Have you registered for WIPJAM yet.  Rumour has it there are 2 tickets to give-away to the O2-Telefoncia party on Tues nite…

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Sierra Wireless and Wavefront Announce Winners of Developer Program

VANCOUVER, B.C. – Sierra Wireless (SW:TO, SWIR:NASDAQ) and Wavefront, the community-based commercialization center for B.C.’s 1,000 wireless and new media development companies, announce the winners of the Sierra Wireless – Wavefront Developer Program. 

The Sierra Wireless - Wavefront Developer Program was established to find best-in-class enterprise or consumer applications that take advantage of the mobile broadband and GPS capabilities built into Sierra Wireless PC cards, ExpressCards, and USB modems. Finalists created working prototypes and a team of six judges, including Parm Sandhu, TELUS; James Maynard, Wavefront; David Sonnen, Integrated Spatial Solutions, Inc (ISSI); Ed Schmit, AT&T; Steve Blaine, Sierra Wireless; and Trent Punnett, Sierra Wireless, chose the best-in-class winners. 

Apisphere, Inc (www.apisphere.com) of Berkeley, CA: Apisphere for Outlook is a location-aware plug-in that enables Sierra Wireless users to automatically send and receive location-smart messages to their mobile devices and laptops based on their Outlook calendar and location.

Clevest Solutions Inc. (www.clevest.com) of Richmond, BC: Clevest Solutions Inc, the world’s fastest growing mobile solutions provider for utilities, has developed a new breed of Mobile Field Force Optimization Solution for mobile workforces by integrating and leveraging the power of GPS/Automatic Vehicle Location, GIS Maps, Scheduling, Dispatch, patented and configurable forms, validations, and workflows.

Livecast (www.livecast.com) of Vancouver, BC: Livecast lets you stream live video from your mobile device or laptop to anyone connected to the web, instantly.

Telogis Inc. (www.telogis.com) of Irvine, CA: Telogis WorkForce, built for the utility industry, is a GPS management application for laptops with connected navigation, satellite imagery, and custom map layers.

Whitenoise Labs (www.wnlabs.com) of Vancouver, BC: Whitenoise Labs has created Dynamic Identity Verification and Authentication [DIVA], a bullet-proof identity theft protection protocol for mobile wireless networks providing continuous and accurate identification of a network user throughout a session, 100% accurate intrusion detection against cyber-crime, and automatic denial of network access to hackers and thieves: this is imperative for securing networks and critical infrastructures.

More on the contest is here:  http://tinyurl.com/6w6srt

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