Saving Lives? There’s an App for that…if you are an iPhone user

- February 17, 2010

At $3.99 to download, I would be hard pressed to pay for an application that provides me with (enhanced) CPR instruction.  While I can certainly see the value in having access to potential life-saving information there is 1 key factor (outside of limited discretionary income) stopping me from making the purchase….I use a Blackberry.  Where is the love for Blackberry users?  After all, we Blackberry users still account for over 40% of the Smartphone platform market share, according to comScore

The iphone application (Pocket First Aid & CPR) that proclaimed to have saved Dan Wolley’s life and helped pull him through the earthquake in Haiti got a lot of play in the weeks following.  There have been tons of articles – retweets, blog posts, etc all creating enormous buzz for the iTunes app store and American Red Cross.  This online conversation helped move the application to its own all-time high #49 on apple’s Top 50 Paid Applications List.  This is clear evidence that word of mouth / viral / social media marketing works well and can show quick results.  However, it is not the end-all answer for getting more visibility for your iphone application.  According to a recent article, “that bump may be short-lasted; as of Jan. 27, it has fallen back to No. 76, and sales seem to be on their way back down.”  Unless there are plans to capitalize on the buzz created around this app, we can expect to see its popularity decline, along with the overall drop in web search query volume relative to the earthquake in Haiti.  Google Insights for search illustrates this point below in charting the Worldwide search query popularity for the phrase “Haiti iphone”.

While the iphone and Android Smartphone provide allow developers to use more bells and whistles, the adoption of these devices is still taking hold.   If you have application development on your radar for 2010, be sure your plans include existing customers and visitors to your website.  Many of your existing / potential customers may be limited by service providers in their area, added expense of upgrading a device, ongoing monthly expense, etc.  To see which devices your customers and prospects have been using to access your website, tap into Google Analytics Mobile Reports.  Refer to Emily McNair’s post, titled Mobile App Considerations, for other key items to think about in developing mobile applications.

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