Blog Post

Is Investing in iPhone App Development a "Fool's Errand"?

The iPhone economy may have generated more than $1 billion for developers, but when you break down the numbers as Tomi T. Ahonen has done, it’s clear that creating software for Apple’s (s aapl) mobile devices is a losing proposition for most developers — “a fool’s errand,” he calls it. After reviewing Ahonen’s analysis, which cuts through rhetoric with simple math, I’m convinced that most developers would be better off targeting more mainstream devices such as feature phones and services such as SMS. And while Ahonen’s argument revolves around iPhone development, it applies equally to other smartphone platforms as well.

In many cases, effective software can make up for the shortcomings of today’s mobile browsers and the connectivity they require, but that trend could easily shift as mobile broadband matures in terms of speed and coverage and phone browsers gain offline storage features and other advanced functions. For now, web apps are generally less capable than software solutions, so developers are focusing on mobile software programs. But as Ahonen points out, those doing so for the iPhone are only targeting 13 percent of the worldwide smartphone market:

So worldwide there are 80 million iPhone compatible devices today in use. That seems like a big number. Except, that compared to just the installed base of smartphones at the end of 2009, it is 13%. So if you do any kind of free iPhone app, and intend it to be a mass market media vehicle to reach the pockets of the total population, you have abandoned 87% of all smartphone users in the world today. That seems like a poor idea to me.

Indeed, although Apple has sold tens of millions of iPhones since June of 2007, the company is still a small smartphone player when compared to Nokia (s nok) or Research In Motion (s rimm). And Google (s goog) is fast catching up to Apple thanks to more than 100,000 Android activations daily. But the more important point is how small the smartphone pool is to begin with. As Ahonen notes:

The world has actually ‘featurephones’ which do apps fully well, using Java and Brew and Widgets etc. How many of those are out there in the wild? Try 2.1 Billion. So that moron who approved the ‘brilliant’ marketing idea to develop a cool app, and did it only for the iPhone eco-system, conveniently spat in the faces of 96% of the population with reasonably advanced phones – that all could have easily taken that free app, and engaged with your brand, through a mobile phone app.

In other words, the number of smartphones still pales in comparison to the number of feature phones. Yes, the trend is for smartphones to take more of the market — over half of those in the U.S. are expected to use a smartphone in lieu of feature phone by the end of 2011 — but on a worldwide basis, the feature phone still rules.

Perhaps even more important than the device is the services such a device is capable of using. Nearly every feature phone I know of includes SMS or text messaging, and as Ahonen points out, in 2009 the U.S. version of “American Idol” generated $500 million through SMS voting. With “Idol” available in another 50 countries, Ahonen’s example makes a good case for developers to focus on the lowest common denominator of simple services across more devices: SMS, WAP, and HTML, to name a few.

If Ahonen’s rationale isn’t enough to convince developers to stop working on iPhone apps, perhaps his math is. Using a combination of data points from Apple, Distimo, the Yankee Group and other analytics firms, Ahonen makes the case that for most developers, iPhone app activities are anything but a money-maker. (Related: The Apple App Store Economy) I recommend the full walkthrough Ahonen provides, but here’s a summary of the logic:

  • The iTunes App Store has generated 5 billion downloads and $1.4 billion in revenues, which works out to 20 cents per downloaded app for a developer, after Apple’s 30 percent cut.
  • After considering that 73 percent of all apps are paid, each of the 164,000 paid apps in the App Store generate an average of $3,050 for a developer in a year.
  • Although there are more paid apps than free apps, 85 percent of all downloaded apps are free. Even with an average of 94 apps installed, each Apple mobile devices only generate $14 for developers annually.
  • With the low estimated development cost effort of $15,000 it can take a developer up to 22 years to recoup costs from creating a mobile app, using the median revenue of $682 annually.

Certainly there are plenty of success stories in this app economy — between ads and in-app purchases, Tap Tap Revenge was earning $1 million a month in 2009. But I’d love to hear the reaction of some smaller development shops to Ahonen’s insights, especially those that are eschewing iPhone development in order to focus on services that leverage feature phones and simple revenue generators like short messages.

Related content on GigaOM Pro (subscription required):

Why Feature Phones Are the New Black for Mobile Apps

48 Responses to “Is Investing in iPhone App Development a "Fool's Errand"?”

  1. I have had several applications developed for me and in the iTunes store for about a year now. Two of them have already recouped my initial devlopment costs (well over the $15k mentioned here) I am certainly not getting rich, but it has been a nice steady income. The apps were developed by http://www.MomentumMobile.com. The key to doing well in the app market is to have a good marketing plan in place.

  2. I have to agree with Ryan, it isn’t just a matter of creating a great App for a wider audience but getting it to them in an easy manner ie. apple appstore. Also considering that developing a free App for 15K that could potentially reach 80 million people (or even a fraction of that) would be a great oppurtunity for brand recognition.

  3. IMO the market conditions are quite analogous to the 90s internet boom. There were thousands of companies trying to profit off the internet to no avail and there thousands that had massive success. The only difference is careful planning, honestly assessing the market conditions, and purposeful execution.

    At the company I work for http://www.MutualMobile.com we have dozens of case studies from clients who were able to generate amazing ROIs in the mobile space. And they will tell you that their success was very much attributed to a joint objective of adhering to three differences I mentioned above.

  4. An interesting read. My view is that iPhone app developers should focus more on paid projects, rather than developing lots of free ones themselves. Sure we’ve seen some great successes but this article points out some very interesting facts about the risks involved involved when focusing in just one area.

    Demand is growing at an alarming rate so why not invest in iPhone app development? Invest wisely perhaps.

  5. Its great to step back and put things in perspective, but this strikes me as silly in a number of ways.

    1. So what if there are a lot more feature phones than iPhones? How likely is it that any of those users will use your app, mobile web site, or anyones mobile app or web site? We already know the answer, based on a decade of experience. It is dismally small, and the hurdles to even getting a chance can be substantial. As I recall, a friend who developed mobile games had to spend more on 3rd party testing than a lot of small iPhone developers spend developing a first version of their focused app.

    I used to have a feature phone. I was one of the few people I knew who even considered installing an app or using a mobile data service on it, and the only thing I found worth using was Google’s SMS search service once or twice a month.

    The fact that American Idol was able to generate $500M in premium text messaging fees tells us little about the potential for anyone who doesn’t have a multimedia marketing machine to attach to.

    Second, its also true that Apple is just one player in the smartphone market. Again, so what? We already knew what the smartphone app market looked like before the iPhone.

    It’s hardly a fools errand. Apple’s unit share of the smartphone market may or may not be growing, but the overall smartphone market is growing, and right now, the iPhone is the segment of that market with the liveliest economy. It’s also worth remembering that the AppStore doesn’t just cover phones, it also covers the iTouch, and now iPad. So Apple’s performance in the smartphone market tells only part of the story for the opportunities for iOS app development.

    The iOS App store may be overhyped at this point, but under that hype there is a kernel of truth. Small third party developers and big brands have a demonstrated opportunity of finding revenue and/or engagement with iPhone apps at a level that has not been demonstrated in these “larger” markets.

    Third, there is more to big business than just big markets. Businesses segment their product offerings to maximize margins and/or keep competitors at bay. Maybe that “moron” who ignored Brew in favor of iOS and “spat in the face” of 96% of the population” was actually a genius for going after a desirable market segment and providing them with a superior user experience, rather than wasting money on a feature phone app that 99% of the 96% of the market who could use it would find a less convenient way of “engaging your brand” than just using the phone as a phone and calling one of your customer service representatives.

    In the end, everything is a risk. I don’t know how things will shake out, and nor does anyone else, but it wasn’t particularly foolish to have invested in developing for iOS, and it isn’t particularly foolish to continue doing so at this point. What’s foolish is to believe that anything is a sure thing.

  6. Ben.Jamin

    I think your numbers are way out. Of course, revenue is not shared equally between all apps, but it seems this is how you calculated. The old 80/20 rule applies, and the best apps are taking a big share of revenue, and so if your app and marketing are good it would seem there is very good money to be made.

  7. Most businesses of any kind fail; that’s no reason not to try.

    I don’t think that looking at average performance in any industry where there’s a v v low barrier to entry is particularly helpful. If you look at any industry and evaluate it on whether the average performers in it are commercially successful, I suspect many would fall short.

    Is this not another classic restating of the reach vs activity argument: at one end iPhone small numbers, easier to monitise. At the other end, SMS huge numbers, harder to?

  8. Points very well made Kevin, great article.

    I and my business partner agree so wholeheartedly that we established a start-up company, biNu, in 2008 to develop a technology platform to provide a compelling mobile internet, and usable, experience to ‘ordinary’ feature phones. Realising the problems of applying the conventional web browser / HTML / page request model to the limitations and significant constraints of mobile wireless, we developed a completely different approach and architecture, the aim and reality being to deliver practically instantaneous response times with a simple to use, minimal keystroke user interface model.

    Have a look at http://www.binu.net/demo to see it in action.

    We recently launched our first true ‘production’ quality application, biNu Football, to provide real time scores, results, news etc for the current World Cup event.It can be found at http://m.binu.com.

    Much happier to be targeting a potential 2.1 billion customers!

  9. Nick Harris

    My experience with iPhone development has been much different. I wrote a card game, Euchre, mostly because I wanted to play Euchre on my iPhone. Total cost to me was about $2000 plus the spare time I used to learn Objective-C and create the game. Based on my day job salary I’ll ballpark total cost of development at $14,000. I’ve more than made that back. I also didn’t fall into the $0.99 trap and have left my price at $2.99, along with an ad supported free version.

    Some raw numbers:
    1117.8 average sales per month
    Free version has 122,000 downloads
    30,713,471 ad impressions year to date with a CTR of 0.28%

    Its not enough to support myself on, but for a labor of love side project its done very well. Way better than the numbers in the article.

  10. I’m surprised at all the comments “nobody installs apps on their feature phones”.

    I have a J2ME phone with Opera Mini installed as a second browser, Pandora, I used to have an app that allowed accessing Second Life (but that company went away), and a couple Twitter clients.

    People don’t talk about installing apps on those phones because it’s nothing special or new, we’ve been doing it for almost a decade now!

    Most everyone I know with a Blackberry who uses Twitter has installed a Twitter app or three.

    Now admittedly, there is no charge for those applications, and similarly I never purchased any of the apps on my old Palm device.

    Obviously anecdote does not equal data, but assuming the opposite doesn’t make for good business decisions either.

  11. Jack C

    Couple of points:

    First, Apple, and by extension iPhones, automatically target your product to a very favorable audience. By and large, users are affluent tech adopters with disposable income who happily pay premiums for an experience, which is a non-trivial advantage over other user populations.

    Second, the overwhelming of majority of small business’ fail. A huge chunk of applications won’t be successful, but some will succeed swimmingly. For better or worse, that in essence, is the American Dream.

    Third, we’re talking about a market that is still young. There are a lot of big risks and big opportunities.

    • Matt R

      And by “American Dream” we all assume you mean “capitalism”. I’m not sure whose dream it is to start a business that fails, but I know it’s not mine.

  12. Plenty of good comments here, but rather than address them all individually, let me sum up a response.

    There’s no question that the rewards for iPhone app development can be viewed from many different angles. Tomi’s is one of many, but the detailed and logical breakdown of the numbers was most impressive and I felt they warranted sharing. If nothing else, they should caution developers looking to the App Store as a “get rick quick” scheme because for many devs, it won’t be.

    Regarding the market for feature phones and other services – great comments. But focusing solely on apps for feature phones eliminates the potential for revenues through other services. I thought the American Idol example – half a billion dollars in one season – was eye-opening in this age of apps.

    As far as me ignoring momentum of the iPhone’s growing share and that of smartphones in general, consider reading my prior coverage here on those topics. I’ve repeatedly pointed that point out and each time I do, the commenters chime in on Nokia’s dominance, feature phones still far and away more in use than smartphones, etc…

    Regardless, the conversation here is, as always, appreciated. :)

    • Kevin, that’s the point – the iPhone’s share isn’t really growing globally. For every x million more it sells everyone else does too.

      If the iPhone remains at 5% of web enabled devices then at what point does reality sink in and economies of scale come more into play? Not that long I would think.

      • Mark, I was wondering when you were going to show up in this convo. ;)

        Point taken, but I have to wonder how the trends will change with iPhone 4, Nokia’s announcement that the N8 is the last N-series device to use Symbian, smartphone share continue to eat away at feature phones, etc…

      • I aim to please, Kevin. :)

        I think iPhone 4 will do better volume wise than the 3GS simply because it’s a better phone. Will it expand share? Hard to say – the demarcation between featurephones and smartphones blurs every day and Nokia;s, HTC’s and Samsung’s strategy seems fairly clear – expand the market by lowering the cost.

        I like the N8 but it’s clearly a holding measure to stop the rot. Symbian^3 and ^4 will feed down to X and E series and MeeGo up to the N Series. How will they do? I don’t know. It depends on how Nokia style and market the phones. In the meantime Android will also expand over a range of handsets at various price points and I think that Apple will look to diversify soon as well.

        Interesting times as they say.

    • Tim F.

      I’m sorry, I don’t find the argument logical at all. Today we get an estimate that 80% of apps are free. Tomi says 73% of all apps are paid. Why? Has he even looked at the App Store? His number is absurd. Oh, it needs to be absurd for his argument to hold water.

      • Tim, by omitting one key word (“downloaded”), you’re trying to make your own argument hold water. ;)

        You said: “Today we get an estimate that 80% of apps are free. Tomi says 73% of all apps are paid.”

        As I read the news today, the 80% estimate applies to downloaded apps, not apps available, i.e.; 80% of all apps downloaded are free. Tomi says that 73% of all available apps in the App Store are paid – two totally different measures and one doesn’t contradict the other.

  13. Seriously now?
    That reasoning is completely retarded (sorry).

    Here are some facts convieniently left out of the equation:
    1) Producing an iPhone app can be done with a moderate investion, because:
    1a) The iPhone has an SDK that is actually usable
    1b) You may only reach 13% of the Smartphone users but you can do that with ONE app. Sure you could increase your reach by a factor of 9 but you would have to produce at least 20 marginally different apps for the plethora of phones out there.
    1c) Producing for every Platform would mean a lot different programming languages

    2) The install base of Nokia and RIM smartphones may surpass those of iPhone/Android but how many of those have actually downloaded even a single app? I’ll tell you: none, nobody, nada, niente

    3) Apps for feature phones? Really? Seriously? Wow I must have missed something because I remember NOBODY ever installing any app on his feature phone. Is there even an app store for 10% of those feature phones? No? Thought so. So do you really expect people using feature phones to activily hunt in the interwebs for apps for their phone? Yeah… it has worked brilliantly in the past.

    4) SMS is surely more widely adopted but the level of engagement is just, well, a little lower compared to an app.
    The American Idol example is complete and utter bullshit: Not every company has a TV-Show to back up its media strategie.

    5) It might just so happen, that your app is somehow targetet an similar demographic like the one the iPhone users are made off. Think early adopters, tech & media savy users, etc.
    The success of a marketing campaign is not solely determined by the number of people it reached. It is rather determined by the number of INTERESTED people it reaches.

    6) What Ryan said
    7) What PXLated said
    8) What Mark Hernandez said
    9) What rohitsiftsaid
    10) What basically every other commenter in this thread points out

    This post is most definately below GigaOM standards.

    • Your post is riddled with errors.

      1) Did you miss Tomi’s point that all platforms provide limited access and that open languages and media provide the best revenue opportunities?

      Kind of guess you did.

      As for your ‘moderate investment’ care to define that in financial terms. Don’t forget to include a cost for hardware, development time and marketing. When you have those feel free to criticise.

      2) Right. Ovi has half a billion downloads. GetJar has over a billion and, given that Symbian makes up half of their customers, that makes over a billion.

      For the record I have 80 apps on my Nokia X6.

      3) Feature phones support apps (Facebook, Twitter) and have supported Java games for a very long time.

      4) SMS is extremely widespread as a revenue generator. For example a lot of commercial TV stations use it to replace lost advertising revenue by offering a cash prize to people who send an SMS answer to a posed quaestion.

      5) “It is rather determined by the number of INTERESTED people it reaches.” The chances of which increase in line with the number of people you can reach.

      I could go on but the point is you should think carefully about calling people retarded whne your own arguments are paper thin and easily disproved.

  14. Tomi T Ahonen

    Hi Kevin and all readers of GigaOm

    I’m that Tomi Ahonen who wrote the original blog article. I am very happy you Kevin summarized the blog here and very pleased to find the intelligent discussion here about it.

    A few quick points only (we have over 30 comments at the blog and I am committed to responding to each of those individually). My purpose is to explore the facts and try to provide guidance. The App Store concept is a great positive development for the industry, and for the USA in particular, a very welcome development because the US carriers have been so restrictive and abusive to developers (in Japan content owners get 90 cents of every dollar so a 70:30 deal is actually a very poor offer there, and in Scandinavia the more modern carriers offer typically 80:20 deals..)

    I know the blog is not complete, we don’t have all the data we’d want. But I had posted many times before that the App Store had reached hysteria and was creating non-sustainable expectations. I waited for the Apple official revenue count, as it was very clear some speculation posted last year – like some who claimed 10 Billion dollars of App Store annual revenues in 2009 haha (reality, 686 million dollars) – and now that we finally had the official Apple numbers, I wanted this issue covered as well as the available data allows us to do today. I hope and pray we get better data soon to underestand it more fully. (for some who commented, note I did calculate most of the analysis from PAID apps only excluding free apps)

    It is perfectly clear, today, that whereas most ‘hits businesses’ like pop music or hollywood movies or indeed, WAP and MMS and SMS based mobile services, have a 1 in 10 chance to win, in the Apps Store lottery the odds are far worse, very very much worse, something akin to 1 out of 1,000 chance to win. If you are a developer today with an idea for a paid app, and you believed honestly, that the odds are similar to other ‘hits’ businesses, but the reality is far worse, I want the developers to know that. I am not saying ‘don’t develop’ but I do want them to know the truth. Last year the industry was feeding utterly unrealistic expectations to these app store developers (on all plaforms, not only Apple).

    Thank you all, please also drop comments on my blog if you have read the full thing..

    Tomi Ahonen :-)
    9 time bestselling author on mobile apps and services
    http://www.tomiahonen.com

  15. Tim F.

    This is the same, “iTunes isn’t a success. The average iPod owner only has 22 paid songs per iPod” argument that was stupid, flawed, and wrong 5 years ago, with new terms.

    • Tim F.

      Maybe my first comment was crass and didn’t add to the convo, but Tomi Ahonen is a lousy source.

      iOS app development math goes like this: potential market (10s – 100+ million users who are avid media, app, and device consumers) / competition (100 – 200,000 developers — with far less because of some “large” mobile app developers w/ >1 devs, larger software companies developing for mobile with app teams of devs >1 but still a preponderance of single developers) = what you make of it.

      Dividing apps (when the worst apps are the 100s produced by the shadiest, and likely wealthiest, low-end developers) by app revenue (when some apps are pure branding, continuous engagement (YouTube), gateways to web services (Twitter, Facebook), gateways to subscriptions (Netflix, Pandora was “saved” by the iPhone app), ad-supported by third parties, must I go on?) is just plain wrong.

  16. Tomi seems to associate market share with app revenue which is in my opinion a flawed assumption. There may be billions of feature phones but I don’t know anyone who has installed an app on theirs, let alone paid for one (japan and Korea excepted). The story is similar for the smartphone platforms with the majority of marketshare – symbian and RIM. Everyone and their grandma has an s60 phone in Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, etc (Nokia 6700 slide is free when renewing you re contract) yet I don’t know of anyone who has installed an app. Blackberry users probably grab the free Facebook, yahoo messenger, AIM, MSN messenger clients and that’s it. Android has a growing catalog of apps but in general I’ve found them lackluster compared to their iPhone counterparts. I’m sure they’ll improve but at present most of the android users I know have far fewer apps installed that the avg iPhone users.

    I agree with his conclusion that it’s a fools errand to develop for iphone though. Too many apps jockeying for attention.

  17. One issue with pursuing the statistically larger market share with an app is that other platforms have been incapable of monetizing them well. Hopefully this changes but iTunes gave Apple a significant advantage in having a comfortable purchasing mechanism that customers already accepted and used. Until that is matched in some way the larger marketplace is still a fragmented mess.

    • I couldn’t agree with you more Bob. The issue of the platform’s size pales in comparison with the issues surrounding distribution of applications for feature phones.

  18. Governor

    The articles premise is flawed, as the writer seems willing to ignore market trajectory. Nokia bricks are a ghost town and Apple can’t manufacture iPhones fast enough.

    Forget the misleading snapshot of today’s marketshare. What does he think marketshares will look like next year, or in the years to follow?

    Business isn’t about blind analysis, so much as trend recognition.

    • Conquistador

      I don’t think Kevin or anyone else is confused by the demand-side of this equation. There is a large and growing over-supply of developers. Certainly, there will still be some (many?) who hit one out of the park and make five or six figure returns – but there will be many more whose ROI is paltry.

    • @Governor — the more I think about this article and the responses in comments to it so far, the more I am convinced that Kevin C. Tofel wrote this article as a troll … he’s just trolling for information to see what people would come up with in response in the comment section (trolling for insights). Don’t give away your insights to Kevin C. Tofel and friends!

    • Well, Governor, I guess that since the iPhone’s global market share has stayed static at about 16% of all smartphones for the last three quarters and about 5% of all web enabled phones we can pretty much see where it’s going.

  19. Kevin, don’t get trapped by the marketing presentations of all those non-Apple feature-phone manufacturers:
    Yes, there are billions of feature phones out there, but …
    … you cannot sell apps to those billions of phones, because there is no AppStore for that … you need to make contracts with hundreds of operators, web based app-shops, mobile portals … so forget it.
    … even if you find some operators who will sell your app … don’t even dream of a revenue share of 70% for the developer … the operators will laugh at you.
    … these billions of phones have different operating systems, screen sizes, buttons, GUI- and navigation concepts and even if all of them are Java enabled phones … you need optimized code for every model.

    But I don’t need to convince anybody … I just say it’s perfect to develop for and sell apps on that platform ;-)

  20. The cost of supporting a large number of Java and BREW devices is quite a lot higher than supporting iPhone. J2ME is extremely fragmented across manufacturers and carriers, and requires extensive testing across a carrier’s handsets. Because of the wide range of phone capabilities, when designing a Java or BREW app, you can’t assume that the phone will have an accelerometer or compass, you can’t assume access to the camera, you can’t assume network access, you can’t assume screen size, etc. So, you play it safe and design a lowest common denominator game.

    iPhone represents one of the first smartphones with a large enough install base with a common feature set, there’s a lot of fragmentation even in Blackberry handsets.

    This type of fragmentation will likely creep up on the Android side as well — even now AT&T’s Android phones are crippled, and feature crippling has long been a problem with Sprint and Verizon handsets.

    • @Mike you bring up a great point which Kevin C. Tofel completely left off (poor tech journalism) which is the cost of MAINTENANCE! Applications are not static monolithic bundles of code, they are morphable and require the ability to adapt to the dynamical changing world (customer’s needs / desires might change, etc.). Who the heck has the time / money to maintain the fragmented slew of J2ME Brew devices?

  21. rohitsift

    Kevin;

    Calculating averages in this case doesn’t help, nor does merely calculating ‘median’ as in Ahonen’s longer post. IF the statistical distribution is skewed (not uniform, not gaussian, maybe rayleigh?), the top few percent (that is still 1000s of developers) may be making significantly more money than “average”. That would be the interesting stat — e.g. 874 (random number) developers make more than $50K every year, and the mid + lean part of Long tail doesn’t really make more than $1000/year or something like that.
    Granted, you (or Ahonen) may not have the stats and only Apple does… but then, why put out a honeypot headline if you dont have the right stats for the right analysis.

  22. Mark Hernandez

    Anyone considering iPhone development needs to study the situation carefully. No amount of “running the numbers” in a general sense is going to tell you about how your particular situation is going to pan out.

    This is all a moving target. There is so much innovation not even tapped yet. Plus, iAds is a new factor and Apple will certainly improve app discoverability ahead of any mass exodus from it’s app store economics. I find the math in both these articles to be completely unrepresentative of the real world because the real world is much more complicated. Of course, don’t wear rose-colored glasses, but do the research and the hard work.

    If you’re just going to be a quick hack, whether you’re writing blog articles that repeat information, or an app that repeats existing functionality, you’ll get out of it what you put into it.

  23. PXLated

    So, why haven’t developers jumped on the feature phone? – too hard to get installed? – too hard dealing with the phone manufacturers? – too hard dealing with the carriers?

    How does the math compared to writing programs for desktops/laptops? – Bet it isn’t much different. So, no matter the device/platform, the vast majority of developers aren’t going to make any money (even feature phones). And something like 90% of all new businesses fail.

  24. Something not touched up in this story is app discovery, and how that impacts customer adoption. Its very hard for an application to reach an audience, due to an archaic Appstore search and the shear mass of applications. Simply creating a quality app isn’t enough these days, and you can quite literally see single digit downloads per week without some marketing effort to back the app.