In the third quarter of 2011, 117 million Smartphones were shipped globally and it is expected that 29 billion mobile apps will be downloaded by the end of this year. These extraordinary numbers not only highlight the considerable growth of Smartphones, they mask the fact that revenue and customer engagement are more important measures of performance than download volumes. This presents a key challenge to brands developing mobile app strategies: how apps deliver ROI when they are free to download?
Below are the five business models used by brands to develop mobile app strategies:
1. Apps to augment existing services
2. Apps to simplify purchasing
3. Apps as ‘paid-for’ content distribution channels
4. Apps as ‘Freemium’ applications
5. Apps as the industry norm