Monday, January 10, 2011

Morning Brief: The circus is in town; BCS tonight, Verizon event tomorrow; average price of mobile apps declines

So it begins: the media circus is in town, with its on-air personalities, its absurd questioning of ill-informed bystanders, and the rest. But with so few Americans tuning in to CNN and the other cable 'news' channels (Fox News will no doubt play the story lightly -- for obvious reasons), not many viewers will be watching.

If the news outlets wanted to understand what is going on in Arizona they would have been there in November. All one needed to do was drive around the streets of the Valley of the Sun and seen the political signs being used for the election to understand the anger and bigotry that is now part of Arizona politics -- it was all out in the open for everyone to see.

Will this weekend's events quickly receded into the background? Tonight the BCS Championship football game takes place, and we all know how much the viewing public prefers football to news (which is one reason why the major networks interrupted their regular programming to cover events in Tucson on Saturday).
Tomorrow Verizon will take center stage at an event that most people believe was scheduled to announce that the iPhone will now be available to their customers. This will give the tech writers lots of opportunity to write again about iOS versus Android -- a favorite topic of many sites. But really, most media executives should be well beyond wondering which platforms to develop new products for -- develop for as many as you can.

Appmakr passed along a promotional email late last week announcing that they have added both Android and Windows Phone to the build-it-yourself services. Appmakr was one of the first third party vendors to offer simple app making services. Many of the app built by Appmakr have their name added to the end of the title (not a good idea) but by getting an Apple developer's license you can avoid this bit of branding faux pas.

The latest Distimo Report had two interesting tidbits in it this month. First, Distimo says that "while the proportion of free applications grew, the average price of the applications also declined". This may be reflection of the number of 99 cent apps thrown into the various app stores. Many of these apps are pretty much junk created by developers who are trying to capitalize on new smartphone users.

The second finding from the new Distimo Report was the growth in business oriented apps "indicating that increasingly more consumers see the iPhone as a productivity tool," the report says. "Despite their business reputation, BlackBerry App World attracts more entertainment focused applications. Google Android Market and Nokia Ovi Store show a more balanced category growth."