Mobile diary: apps are big, but maybe not a business

Interesting juxtaposition of stories in today’s Mobile World Live: Apps edition from the GSMA:
apps businessEricsson reports that mobile app usage has a huge impact on the performance of their networks, at the same time as Zynga is shutting down their mobile app subsidiary OMGPOP, as part of their effort to save their business. In other words, lots of people are using lots of apps, but that activity isn’t generating much money for the people who write them.

Put that together with the latest VisionMobile report on developer revenue, and it becomes clear that mobile apps aren’t a great business in themselves. This is nothing new; the data have showed for a while that the mobile app business is like the music business. Most developers (and musicians) don’t make enough money from that activity to live on, but that doesn’t stop them from writing and distributing apps (or for musicians, playing in bars and coffee shops).



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