OPINION: The power of mobile content

Samsung says the mobile applications market is set to boom across Africa, with Android showing staggering growth.

The company says probably the most significant development in smartphone technology, apart from the technology itself, is the rise of mobile applications.

In fact, the IDC predicts that the number of mobile application downloads worldwide will grow from 10.9 billion in 2010 to 76.9 billion in 2014 and mobile app revenues will surpass $35 billion in the same year.

Says Paulo Ferreira, Head of Product and Software Solutions at Samsung; “ Perhaps the two most important reasons for why apps are successful is that people’ s most important communication device – the cellphone – has become a complex computing device with powerful processors that can access high speed Internet connections using mobile networks. This gives users the ability to not only make calls and send SMSes, but access services through a device which is small enough to sit in their pocket. And leading this front is Android, not only due to its open architecture, but also due to its flexibility and versatility across so many devices.”

According to the App Genome Project the Android market grew by 127% from August 2010 to February 2011, with predictions that the Android Market will have more applications than Apple’ s App store in a year’ s time, if it maintains the current rate of growth. What’ s more, the percentage of paid-for apps increased from 22% to 34% on the Android market over this six month period.

“ These statistics are significant as it means that app users are not only downloading fun apps to pass the time, but are increasingly prepared to pay money for apps that provide them with significant value – indicative of the need and desire for content,” adds Ferreira. “ The explosion in app usage is one of the reasons Samsung has implemented a new app development team structure, which will provide a range of innovative applications that suits Android users’ lifestyle needs and provide stronger mobile content for both the business-to-business and business-to-consumer markets respectively.”

Samsung sees opportunity to expand not only the breadth and depth of apps, but also how users interact with them, making it easy to discover and enjoy digital content across multiple devices. The potential of apps and content to change the landscape of Africa is boundless.

“ Android’ s open architecture is key in this regard, due to the fact that it provides greater access for the developer community, as well as for the user. And with Android phones having just overtaken iPhone in terms of the number of devices globally, Android is well positioned to dominate the smartphone market from an app as well as a handset perspective,” concludes Ferreira.

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