AppWorks - app stores, apps.no, Angry Birds and HTML5

Espen Riskedal

Yesterday I was presenting (covered here by mobizmag.no) at appworks.no, the first conference in Norway focusing on mobile app development. There were two scenes, lots of people, and a lot of good talks. Check out photos from the day here.(Photos: Eirik Helland Urke/Creative Commons)

I was talking about the mobile app market in Scandinavia and Europe, mostly from a business perspective. The most interesting slides are probably the ones about the mobile os web usage in Scandinavia, the size of the different app stores, and also the trends and forecasts on whats going to happen, according to the analysts, concerning app stores and mobile platforms.

[slideshare id=5490641&doc=thescandinavianmobileappmarket-101019101844-phpapp01]

I also attended three of the talks, and all of them were really interesting. Here is a small summary of them.

Small Efforts, big bucks

Sveinung Totland - apps.no

Sveinung Totland

Sveinung had a really interesting talk about the different apps that apps.no had launched and how they had fared in the market. He was very frank and open about everything and I really enjoyed the talk. Our business idea is basically same as them, make own apps + consult and make apps for others, so it was really good to hear from someone that was already doing this, and succeeding. Here are the numbers:

Name

Price

Downloads

Revenue

YR

free

600000

None - but 60000 emails to spam

Kronespillet

17 NOK

67000

854250 NOK

Avinor

17 NOK

46000

586500 NOK

Kystpatruljen

17 NOK

?

0 - Enough to pay for the dev cost. Redningsselskapet gained 50% in new member boost

Gyldendals Soppguide

39 NOK

?

0 - Enough to pay for dev cost

Skattesøk

17 NOK

?

Lost money - Free apps came out and there was no market

How we made the top grossing mobile game

Peter Vesterbacka - rovio.com

Peter Vesterbacka

Peter from Rovio talked about their insane success with the Angry Birds game. It's been the top selling game for the iPhone for over 5 months, thats more than anyone else - ever. They have sold, at least, 7 million copies of it on the Apple App Store for the iPhone only, more if you add iPad. They launched in December 2009, and since then have had a crazy ride.

One interesting fact is that Angry Birds is not their first game. According to Peter, they've done around 50 other game titles already, so this was not an overnight succuess, but took years of hard work before it really paid of. Angry Birds was "designed to be hit" - with that Peter meant that their designers had sat down and really studied what was needed to make a smash hit game for the iPhone. The character design was a bit by accident, they saw some sketches from one of their artists, and then instantly fell for the angry birds.

Angry Birds is now going to be everywhere: Nintendo DS, Playstation Portable, Windows etc. etc. For their existing ports: iPhone, Maemo, Android and Symbian, they've done them all in house - and they will continue with that for the other coming ports. They are 12 people right now, but have 15 open positions! :D Rovio is aiming for 100 million downloads of Angry Birds - they call it the "Tetris strategy". And they might succeed - when they released the Android version a few days ago, they had 2-3 million downloads in as many days. Wow.

Apps vs HTML5 - what should we choose?

Nikolai Onken - uxebu.com

Nikolai Onken

The last talk I attended was about HTML5 apps. Nikolai had a very enthusiastic talk about HTML5 apps, and how that was not a utopian dream, but actually a reality already. I think his talk clearly showed it is not quite there yet. The fact that for the iPhone, to use bluetooth support in an HTML5 app, you have to jailbrake it and write a platform spesific extension for PhoneGap speaks for itself.

I'll keep an eye on HTML5 apps though, but at the moment - native is still the best way for anything but the most naive apps.

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