Currently, the mobile applications market is worth about $6.8 billion. And its all set to grow to $25 billion in the next 4 years. And India will be at the forefront of this growth story.
Presenting the five trends that will very soon take the mobile app world in India by storm.
1) Business Apps :- In India, there has been a boom in gaming and other leisure mobile applications. But, till now there has been no mobile applications used by the business community. In the western countries, there has been a surge of business apps recently.
There are apps that have various business functionalities like stock market tracking, uploading videos and presentations to the cloud, social networking (yammer), analytics tools, mind maps, etc. The few business apps that exist in India like the NSE trading mobile app are very complicated to operate and very few people know about their existence. But this is about to change. Many of the mobile app developers in India are entering into this domain. Many of them already have expertise in this field as they have developed products for foreign companies. And now India Inc also feels the need for business apps to aid them.
2) Cloud Computing
Although there has been much innovation and R&D in cloud computing, not a lot of it has reached the mobile application domain in India. In the U.S., the increase in cloud computing apps has been exponential. These are among the most popular apps sold on the iPhone and Android marketplaces.
According to a recent survey the cloud computing apps have the following number of users:-
a) Location (38%) like Visa
b) Notification (36%) like Facebook
c) Rating&Reviews (11%) like IMDB
d) Photo (8%) like instagram
e) Check-ins (7%) like four square
In India,their growth has been slow up till now, mainly due to the unavailability of fast internet connections on the phone. But now with the advent of 3G and faster data transfer speeds, this domain is all set to grow at a very fast pace.
3) Location based apps
LBA are used in a variety of contexts, such as health, indoor object search,entertainment, work, personal life, etc. It includes services to identify a location of a person or object, such as discovering the nearest banking cash machine or the whereabouts of a friend or employee.
It can be also used in other creative marketing purposes as well. For example, the popular Finnish iPhone game Shadow Cities, which recently made its debut in the U.S., uses the city of each player as a game board, allowing them to roam their neighborhood casting spells and taking over city blocks. Players can engage with others nearby by either teaming up or fighting over territory.
It presents a valuable opportunity to marketers that want to foster emotional connections with their audiences.
These apps have not found a market in India because:-
a) they have never been customized for the Indian market.
b) slow data transfer rates and poor GPS facilities.
c) lack of awareness of these apps among the users.
But now several developers have already started venturing into this domain. Eg; An Indian developer has developed an app called hoppr which is based on Foursquare’s idea and also gives location based discounts.
4) Mobile Payment
Mobile payment is an alternative payment method. Instead of paying with cash, check, or credit cards, a consumer can use a mobile phone to pay for a wide range of services and digital or hard goods. This segment is expected to exceed $300B globally by 2013.
In India, due to issues in security and unreliable internet, this market is still nascent. But as awareness about this technology spreads, the market will expand because this has many advantages like cash free transactions, instantaneous payments, etc. There has been a growth in the mobile banking segment in India as many players like mcheck have forayed into it.
5) Windows Phone
Although, till now, the user interface of the windows phone OS has been very poor and there are very few apps for this as compared to iPhone or Android, it is going to change very soon.
Microsoft has officially announced the first details of Windows Phone 8 (Apollo) that include a better interface and many new features. The partnership with Nokia is certainly helping, as will the announcement that the Windows Phone Marketplace is now up to 100,000 apps with more coming – from the PayPal support for Wallet to iPhone must-haves like Words with Friends and Audible, plus Zynga’s newly acquired Draw Something. Although this phenomenon is not particular to India as this market will grow at a very fast pace worldwide, but as the India is going to grow faster, so this will be a market to keep an eye out for.