And how they revolutionized business.
The world as we know it is relying more and more on technology. This technology is becoming smaller and faster than many of us may have ever imagined. When I was in middle school I would have never dreamed of having a phone that could get on the internet, keep track of a company’s calendaring system, and watch videos of people making fountains from Mentos and Coke. This process was streamlined with the introduction of the App Store.
The market was pioneered by the previous powerhouse PALM. They introduced smart phone technology to the market but their failure to stay ahead of the curve left them out of the equation. Just a few years later Apple creates a masterpiece. Apple developed the platform for Apps – an entirely new market almost overnight. In order to understand this fully, we must ask the question, “ Why is the iPhone the biggest player in the Smart Phone market?” The iPhone’s success has nothing to do with the phone itself. It is quite expensive, it is incredibly delicate, Apple’s warranty isn’t fantastic, and the call clarity isn’t particularly great. The secret is in its ability to satisfy specific needs and wants of its users. This was enabled by allowing third party companies to fulfill those needs and wants via the App Store.
The Market of mobile Apps is a Multi-Billion dollar market. Apple’s App Store alone rakes in about $2.4 Billion/yr. To put that in perspective, that is more than double the amount of revenue of major video game publisher Activision. Not familiar with Activision, try clothing giant Aeropostale who pulled in $1.2 Billion in annual revenue. This enormous amount of revenue is derived from Apps that involve Games, Calendaring, Communication, Art, Sports, News, and so much more.
Groupon, a company out of Chicago, is expected to reach close to half a billion in sales in their first few years in business. This was highly driven by their mobile App available to any smart phone user for free. Groupon promotes local businesses in over 150 cities around the globe with a daily deal. Local businesses are promised a minimum number of new customers in exchange for a discount on their goods or services. Now anybody with this App has access to those deals.
Not every business is able to utilize an App to sell their product or service like Groupon, but many are able create an advantage by using Apps to increase productivity. For instance my company Cal Services uses a few apps to create an advantage. Using Google Voice and YAP! Voicemail allow me to read messages that customers leave when I’m in a meeting or during class. Calengoo keeps my phone calendar synced with the master calendar and The Weather Channel quickly lets me know if I need to move appointments because of bad weather. While this array of apps doesn’t compare to sitting in my office behind a fully functioning computer with cable internet, but it does provide an alternative when I’m out of the office.
The medical field will be seeing many advancements because of App technology. We are entering the days where scheduling a doctor’s appointment, looking over your medical files, and renewing your prescriptions don’t need to involve a phone call. Apps will soon encompass all of those conveniences and more. The Figure above describes a survey of the most desired Apps in the Medical Field.
The sky is the limit with smart phone apps. These very inexpensive Apps address the exact needs and wants of end users. They’re the reason the smart phone is what it is today. Though phone companies like Apple, Google, Samsung, and others may tell you their phone is the hottest and sexiest phone out there, the real magic is in the Apps.
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