Developers overlooking the gaming industry do so at their own peril: The in-app purchasing models they have pioneered "are the most interesting examples of the skills that result in app development success," Steve Patterson writes. They have also mastered multiplatform difficulties as well as "iterative data-driven mobile design and development," he adds. "Whether the app developer's goal is to build an app to enhance a corporate brand or the next Twitter app, they would be well served in striving to achieve the mobile game companies' development skills, and ability to create a community of satisfied and returning users that achieves their corporate ROI."
The 350,000-plus mobile applications available are only the tip of the iceberg, according to a report from Forrester Research, which predicted that sales of mobile apps will reach $38 billion by 2015. Forrester also forecast the rise of apps that work on mobile devices and in the cloud, allowing users to store content online and access it from smartphones and tablets.
Chinese networking gear manufacturer Huawei has built its own mobile-application platform and storefront, called the Digital Shopping Mall, and is beckoning telecom operators to tap into the 80,000-and-growing software offerings.
Before the launch of the iPhone, there wasn't much of a market for mobile applications. Now there is a thriving economy for mobile applications, with more than 100,000 apps available on a variety of devices and platforms. This article looks at some of the players in the mobile-app space, including Apple's App Store, gamemaker Zynga and portal Yahoo!