I want to discuss "Selling mobile applications and content" topic. This topic has huge importance for me personally and all S60 community, who plan to make business together with Nokia and S60.
To get started, lets explore current market channels possibilities. I will describe my vision of each later.
1) Web based portals: Handango, Mobile2Day, SmartSam, ClickApps/ClickGames etc.
2) Nokia software market - Website.
3) Own homesite sales.
4) Download! client at phone.
5) NGage client for games.
6) Operators and Aggregators.
That pretty much all we have by far.
1) Web based portals. We have different ones. Greed, New, Good ones.
Some charge more than 50% of revenue + grab taxes for you ( handango )
Some are pretty nice, with 30% rates.
Problem of all these portals are:
1) release new product, in overcrowded top 10, you will get no customers.
2) only some amount of techno geeks knows how to search/buy apps on it.
3) S60 products sells few times worse than UIQ was, and way worse WinMobile.
With 10 times more devices and users worldwide, software sales are depressing low.
Some portals have downloads numbers for a products. I take random S60 best seller from one of the major site = 20120 downloads.
Same kind of best seller for Windows Mobile, same site = 60283 downloads.
And all these with: In 2008 H1, Symbian had 59% of the worldwide smartphone market and is the clear leader in the Asia-Pacific, EMEA and Latin America regions.” Pete Cunningham, Senior Analyst at Canalys.
And Nokia having about 80% of symbian market...
2) Nokia software market - Website.
Could be putted in line with 1). Same problems of unable to reach most customers.
Complicated administration. Not clear marketing possibilities. Not shared downloads numbers.
3) Charges could be as low as 10%, if you set your web shop on site. Major problem is 'correct' traffic.
Competition with other 'Big sharks' portals inevitable.
With remarkable lower charges, selling software over own site could give more profit than selling on 1) and 2).
4) Wow, that's a beast. No statistic shared from Nokia side. Awful user interface. No search available.
Represented applications and games generally from Nokia Pro members(how much per annual to have it?)
User see folder "Application" - no, you wont see any apps from Nokia software market here. Only selected ones.
User have to go at "Nokia software market" and select needed category to reach your application among others, if they didn't give up yet.
5) You make game? Heh, you could go with "NGage Developer application process" and did not have any responce. "Only approved applicants contacted". Is there tons of qualified developers standing in queue to become NGage developers?
How decisions made to approve or reject applicant? Noone knows. Chances for startup or small experienced Symbian software company to become NGage developers? So you have a game for sale, you stuck with 1-3). Option 4) is not suitable if your game more than just few kilobytes of crude graphics and sound. I hardly believe user will download 3-5 Mbytes game from "Nokia Software market" part of Downloads! (If he will find it somehow).
6) Well, this option is not known by me actually. It seems need alot of effords to search/contact/prepare content for each operator/aggregator. And very unclear market value of all these channels, need to investigate each separately.
What I want to know: Is anything going to change in nearest future?
1) What is Try For Free project?
2) OVI version of Application shop from Nokia? ( this could be part of excellent answer to Apple AppStore )
3) Clear marketing policy/availability for Downloads! and marketing benefits of Nokia Pro. ( could be other part of 2. )
4) Openness of NGage. Casual gamers are waiting for quality Casual games( Not hardcore ones ). Look at PC casual market figures (bigfishgames?)!
5) Nokia start care of developers - care of sales! We have enough SDKs, Development Tools, Years of experience, Tons of applications and we unable to deliver them!
I personally know so many PC developers, who went to apple iPhone with Only reason of Apple AppStore. Because they can sell software. They could give developer profit, S60 cant. Even just announced Android platform - first thing they share is Application shop!
I hardly believe in Symbian OS and Nokia as devices market leader. Keen for it for almost 10 years of develompent. Lets continue to work together and start new era of Symbian dominance.