Saturday, March 21, 2009

Can The iPhone Create A New Mobile Economy?

The Potential of In-Application Purchases

What do in-application purchases do for the developer? For starters, it provides new incentives to improve and expand existing applications. Why build new functionality into an older application if there is little financial incentive? In-application purchases address that problem by creating a market for application upgrades.

Another potential opportunity is the ability to create fully-functional stores within applications. Creating a digital economy (i.e. Second Life) and selling digital media such as books and movies will soon be possible. A fully-functional streaming Netflix store on the iPhone, perhaps? As it becomes cheaper to produce smartphones with greater storage capacity, many transactions and goods like these will move away from the desktop to the mobile.

A New Mobile Economy

If the iPhone application store revolutionized the mobile as a platform, then the iPhone 3.0 OS may very well be the spark that revolutionizes the mobile as its own economy. iPhone apps no longer have to be one-hit wonders, but can make sustainable income from a smaller base of committed customers. It’s no longer just the purchasing of goods, but also of services. As companies and programmers find innovative ways to utilize this new financial stream, more complex services will become available and more useful applications will be built.

The iPhone 3.0 OS could be transformational. Just as the Internet transformed how people purchase goods and services, the new iPhone features may build an economy for on-demand goods and services that do not depend on any specific location or time.

I'm still undecided about the iPhone. The benefits are undeniable, but I worry about our dependency upon technology and our reliance upon it as a means of communication. We started off talking to each other to associate and congregate, now we type messages. Will the iPhone 3.0 spell the demise of brick and mortar stores and person to person commerce?

via mashable


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