The 21st Century ‘App Boom’: Beneficial to Whom?

Need to find a fancy restaurant for that anniversary you forgot? There’s an app for that. Need a flashlight to find your apartment key that you dropped? There’s an app for that. Lacking a cowbell for you town’s major football game? There’s an app for that. Those five words have only recently begun resonating in the minds of tech-savvy consumers with the advance of smart phones and tablet computers.  This rise has not only led to a huge demand for innovative applications and competition, but companies have also used this to their advantage as a new way for consumers to access their products. Do these applications really benefit companies or are they attempting to jump on the bandwagon without checking to see what they are getting into?

With new tablet computers such as the Dell Streak 7 and the Motorola Xoom coming out to compete with the iPad, many companies are acknowledging that they need to jump into gear. Mobile computers (smartphones included) are the new PCs/Macs and no one wants to be left out of this generation. Corporations are utilizing this rapid rise in mobile usage through applications and mobile web-sites. Applications not only work as a reverse marketing strategy to get the consumers to come to them rather than them shoving ads in the virtual faces of customers, but they also provide an experience for the consumer rather than simply information. Stores such as Target and Express have broken into the app industry with “one touch shopping” by providing customers with the option of mobile applications rather than mobile websites, or in other words – experience over information. Disney has combined the best of both worlds into their app for Verizon smartphones. Although it is expensive, $9.99 for 6 months, it provides all wait times for rides, restaurants and FASTPASS tickets; maps are given, and you can even create a schedule for yourself of what shows you want to see. Leave it to Disney to create the world’s best application much like they created our childhoods.

According to the New York Times, within the next four years there is expected to be a rise of approximately $24,000,000,000 in app revenue. Clearly it is essential for businesses to jump on this bandwagon, headfirst with a blindfold even because this is the new generation – the mobile generation, the app generation. Are you on the bandwagon yet? If not, don’t worry. Take your time and research your smartphones and tablet computers before you buy, because this trend isn’t going anywhere. Need a place to research? There’s an app for that.

Written by Chelsey Rodowicz.

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