We all know iPhone was the first on the scene but 2010 can really be called the year of the smartphone. iPhone, Android and others are leading the way for mass adoption of smartphones, not just by corporate types but by everyone. What does this mean for marketers?
Apple: Largest App store & iAd
App Store: It's well known that Apple has the largest App store with over 233,408 apps as of this writing. Businesses and marketers have been creative with making apps for businesses large and small. Even if you're not a programmer you can find sites that will create an app for you or your business for a reasonable price to connect you with your loyal customers.
iAd: In addition, with their iAd platform Apple is introducing in-App marketing, very interactive and slick. This is great if you're Nike, BMW, etc. But if you are a small business that installs sunrooms is it reasonable or cost effective to go this route? Not at this time-see link:
The iAd platform is at this time simply to complex and pricey for small businesses. Perhaps in the future they will open things up to the little guy, we'll see.
Google:Adwords, Click to Call & Android App Inventor
On the other side of the coin Google as introduced a number of options that allow both large and small businesses to advertise on the mobile platform.
Adwords & Click to Call: In the Adwords interface you can simply choose show your ads on mobile phones. In addition, not too long ago they also added a Click to Call option where when a user searches for, say Pizza, San Diego on their smartphone they will not only get your add but if you include it the number right below where they can call right from the ad and not have to go to your site.
Android App Inventor: Finally last week Google introduced Android App Inventor. This program, not in public circulation yet will let anyone create an app just by dragging and dropping different pieces of the app around. Some have feared that this could potentially flood the Android app market with tons of junk apps. On the other hand it could allow schools and businesses to create apps that are useful and create buzz about what they have to offer. Links: http://appinventor.googlelabs.com/about/
Here is a video of the app inventor in action. It is pretty lame as it just shows a person making an app of their cat meowing. It is pretty obvious that the App Inventor can do alot more so this is not a great video of what it can do. But many people love cats so who can blame them?
Bottom line: Smartphone have caught fire and Google, Apple, marketers and businesses large and small are scrambling to get a piece of the action. How do you think things will shake out for not only big business but the smaller ones such as restaurants, painters, electricians etc?