Monday, March 2, 2009

Embedded content is now a major new driver for mobile phone purchases

Our most recent worldwide poll has looked at the role which embedded content plays in determining which new mobile handset consumers choose. What it revealed is that people all over the world are now making it a big part of their decision, with 69% of respondents saying that the content provided with a new phone is now more important to their purchase decision than price, design or even touch screen capability.

The poll was conducted across 130 countries and asked respondents to rank a list of 10 phone features by order of importance including brand, screen size/ resolution, user experience/ phone software, phone memory, quality of camera, price, touch screen, music player, embedded content and overall design/ look and feel. They were also asked to grade each of those features individually on a five-level scale of importance.

When ranking the most important features their new phone must have, brand remains the number one factor for consumers with nearly a third of respondents (28%) placing that at the top of their list of criteria, ahead of user experience (17%). The content that comes with the handset was third with 12% of respondents worldwide saying it is ‘extremely important’ to their choice of new handset ahead of phone memory (8%), price (5%) and design (7%).

The poll showed this increased demand for embedded content across all the major international regions, but in the US consumers placed it higher on their list of priorities than those in Europe, with 60% of US respondents stating that it was ‘extremely important’ to their choice of handset compared to 47% in Europe.

The findings also indicate that the uptake of new handsets will be faster in Europe with only 25% of those surveyed saying they will not get a new phone this year compared to a massive 40% of US consumers polled.

In Asia, brand was again the key overall factor for phone choice with 28% of consumers saying this was the number one attribute for them. Second was user interface / phone software with 18% and content a strong third with 14%. Price was only cited as the most important factor by 5%.

In India specifically, a massive 60% of respondents considered the phone interface/software to be extremely important to their choice of handset, alongside the quality of the camera (also 60%). When asked about their plans to get a new phone in 2009, 30% said they did not expect to purchase or upgrade in 2009.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

We just announced our Top 5 apps for 2008

And the winners are... Google Maps, Opera Mini, scanR, Twitter and Strands Social Player. Congratulations to all of them!

Our annual Mobile Awards aim to recognize the diversity and innovation of the applications available for mobile phones on GetJar. The criteria for evaluation include the quality of the application, its popularity, the user experience, usage, and users’ feedback.

If you don't have an iPhone, but you want apps - GetJar's the place!

GetJar’s Third Annual Mobile Award Winners Highlight Innovative Uses for Mobile Phones

18 million visitors per month to prove that ‘ordinary’ phones can be used to browse the Web, get directions, stay connected with friends, and even scan-copy-fax

LONDON, December 17, 2008: GetJar (, the world’s most popular destination for downloading mobile applications, has announced the third annual GetJar Mobile Awards: Google Maps, Opera Mini, scanR, Twitter and Strands Social Player are this year’s stars.

Browsing the Web, getting directions, connecting with friends, and even copying and faxing — all this can now be accomplished on a basic mobile phone. GetJar offers 10,000 unique applications for hundreds of handsets, and sees visitors from 140 countries, making these awards an interesting snapshot of how consumers are extending the functionality of their mobile phones. This year’s winners highlight the growing trend of mobile phone applications becoming an integral part of consumers’ daily lives.

The five winners of the 2008 GetJar Mobile Awards:

1. Product of the Year -- Google Maps for Mobile
Google Maps for mobile is a free, downloadable application that puts maps, driving directions, business listings, and much more in your pocket. And with the My Location feature, find your location with or without GPS. Available for BlackBerry, Java (J2ME), Pocket PC, Symbian.

2. Best Consumer App: Opera Mini
Opera Mini is a fast Web browser that allows you to access the full Internet on your phone. It lets you take all your favorite Web sites with you, and download images and MP3s when you’re on the go. Available for BlackBerry, Java (J2ME), Palm, Pocket PC and nearly every other mobile platform.

3. Best Enterprise App: scanR
scanR turns your camera phone into a scanner, copier and fax. In the office, on the road, or at home—wherever you are—you can make digital copies using your mobile phone’s camera. Available for: BlackBerry, Java (J2ME), Palm, Symbian.

4. Best Mobile Web Application: Twitter
This category recognizes a special class of application – one that runs on the web and is access from the phone. Twitter, the free social messaging utility, is now also on your mobile, so you can follow your friends’ Tweets and tweet back at them. Available for BlackBerry, Java (J2ME), Pocket PC, Symbian.

5. “Up and Coming” App of the Year: Strands Social Player
Strands Social Player is a music player that works with MyStrands so you can discover new music, connect with people, and share your tastes with friends. The latest version supports scrobbling to Available for Java (J2ME) and Symbian.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

How the crisis will affect the mobile application ecosystem

“So, how’s the crisis affecting your business?” has become sort of a “Hello” recently. If not for everyone, then at least for all professionals you meet in daily business life – from customers to lawyers and the bankers (yes, especially these guys). Very soon, you start questioning yourself “so…how’s the crisis affecting or will affect MY business?”. After thinking a little and arriving at some conclusions, I thought it might be interesting to share the opinion with the others in the mobile industry.

Before speculating on what will change, I’ll briefly state where we are now, just to identify the starting point of the coming changes. In mobile application ecosystem I’d say we currently are in a highly speculative, expectations driven, risky but potentially very rewarding environment. In 2006-2007, lot of money was invested into mobile apps and services. Conditionally, I’d call this a “get the product” period, during which lot of money was spent to create innovative mobile products (thought truly innovative services were only a few, the vast majority went to recreate internet-proven models, from social networking to blogging to video sharing and the rest).

Following the “product” period, a “get the user” era arrived (mid 2007 to current). Mobile gold rushers, already having product in place, went to into battle with their marketing budgets in an attempt to win the most eyeballs. The logic behind is very simple. On the already established internet, an individual user may be worth all the way to $50 (check out the investments into Facebook in 2007 to get a sense of how much one user of the free service can be valued at). Such “individual user valuations” are based on the established internet business models capable of drawing value from users. Universal advertising solutions and multitude of affiliation opportunities make it simple to monetize your user base. With the level of liquidity already existing on the internet, users become a kind of a commodity, with the present value of the future earnings from the available business models being their current “worth”. Not the case with mobile. Although there do already exist some “Mobile 1.0 business models” that allow drawing some value from users (eg affiliation with ringtone, wallpaper and other “old crap” sellers), these are nothing compared to what will come (big brands move to advertise into mobile space, global mobile billing enables whole mobile virtual economies and so on).

Naturally, if someone believes a mobile user in 5 years may be worth at least as much as a web user is worth now (ie all the way to $50), then it makes sense to buy mobile users for your product now when they’re cheap, and accumulate them until mobile gets mature and places “the right price tag” on a user. Then, sell this user base with the product and the company, or run the already available robust business models on your user base. Let’s call this era “get the cash”. Being in their vast majority in the transitional (ie “get the user”) phase now, developers haven’t yet looked into long term monetization models.

So what the crisis is definitely going to bring is a massive shift from “get the user” to “get the cash” position. And we definitely see the process starting to happen, as many mobile companies accelerate their research and adoption of various monetization models. Of course it is unlikely that mobile companies will find in the very short term a “magic solution” that will immediately bring them into mega profits. The market and the user are still immature and have a long way to go. But those companies able to find working, efficient and scalable monetization models are definitely going to be in a much better shape.

At GetJar, being committed to providing a full range of mobile developer services, we’ve been working on mobile monetization solutions since day one.

One technology we’re launching publicly now after a very successful 6 months pilot with several mobile developer partners is called MADI (Mobile AD Injection), click here for details. MADI (currently available for J2ME with other platforms coming soon) is a simple API that enables ads inside a mobile application. On the back end, the API connects to GetJar’s ad server, which in turn is connected to GetJar’s own mobile ads database and several third party mobile advertising networks.

Pilot developers using MADI reported highly attractive $2 to $50 CPM rates (earnings vary much depending on user demographics, level of ad visibility and so on). One unique aspect of GetJar MADI is that it is a complete solution. Developers simply insert MADI code into his application and GetJar provides both the supply of ads into the application AND application distribution.

Besides advertising, other technologies enabling various monetization models are being developed by GetJar in partnership with carriers, phone manufacturers and mobile platform developers and are planned for launch as early as 2009.

Monday, November 24, 2008

GetJar signs app store agreement with Optimus

We just announced another app store agreement with a leading mobile operator. This time it's with Optimus, Portugal's best-known wireless carrier. GetJar is providing an app store for Optimus so that the carrier's subscribers have access to hundreds of mobile applications and games.

App stores have become a focal point for carriers in recent months, spurred by Apple's App Store and, more recently, the Android Market. We recently signed a similar deal with the UK's 3 (, and we're working with various carriers around the world to implement app stores for them. Stay tuned for more!

We're really encouraged to see so many carriers turn to us for help deploying an app store. For our carrier partners, the value we offer is clear: they can quickly deploy a full-featured app store with almost zero capital expense, and then benefit from the increase in overall brand value and adoption of data plans (app stores drive data traffic and associated revenues). GetJar is currently running at more than 16 million downloads per month, serving mobile users from 135 countries.

You can read our news release here. (

Friday, October 24, 2008

The financial crisis and its affects on spending and upgrade plans

Mobile users around the world are delaying plans to upgrade or buy new phone handsets while also changing their current spending habits, due to the global economic crisis. These are the findings of the first ‘Mobile Attitudes’ poll carried out by GetJar (, the world’s most respected mobile applications portal.GetJar’s ‘Mobile Attitudes’ poll revealed that 78 percent of respondents from a worldwide audience are delaying plans to upgrade or buy a new mobile phone as a result of the current economic climate. Similarly, 76 percent of mobile phone users are immediately planning to reduce the amount they spend on phone usage.

When asked whether they had reduced spending on mobile phones in the last 12 months, more than 50 percent of respondents had not reduced their spending at all, or by as little as 10 percent, during that period. For those people who had reduced their spending, the economy was the reason given by just over one third of respondents, while 20 percent changed their usage habits to lower expenses, and a further 28 percent had switched to using free applications to avoid charges.

Current spending habits

GetJar also asked its users to reveal which mobile services they spend most money on each month. 35 percent said SMS accounted for the greatest proportion of their mobile phone bill; 18.5 percent said it was voice services; and just under 17 percent identified data services. Premium services accounted for the largest part of the monthly mobile spend for 12 percent of the survey participants.

“What we are seeing is a quite understandable reaction to the economic news that has dominated headlines all around the world,” commented Ilja Laurs, founder and CEO of GetJar. “It will be interesting to see how these intentions are played out in reality over the coming months — whether they are based on short-term concerns that will fade quite quickly, or whether we will see long-lasting changes in consumer behaviour.”

The survey also examined consumer experiences in relation to roaming charges, data costs, and who actually pays mobile phone bills around the world – subscribers themselves, their parents, or their employers.