Pocketgear, a major name in mobile application stores, has today announced a rebranding and shift in focus. It will now become Appia, a company focused on offering a white label app store platform for mobile operators, handset manufacturers and other mobile portals.
Already, Appia powers the app stores for over 40 industry partners, including 4 of the 5 top handset makers, one being the Samsung Widget Store, as well as stores for U.S. mobile carriers T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless and AT&T. In total, Appia serves apps through its platform to over 3,200 mobile devices.
For Developers: Access to Global Distribution Channels
Appia's developer community, which grew out of its Pocketgear days, now totals over 32, 000. The developers are heavily Android-focused right now, we're told, with approximately half their offerings being built for Google's Android mobile operating system. The other half are Symbian, BlackBerry, Java, Palm or Windows Mobile/Phone focused.
With the new white label offering, Appia wants to help developers expand their reach to global application distribution markets. Through the updated developer portal at dev.appia.com, app developers can submit their apps for inclusion in the app stores that Appia supports.
In total, these stores see a combined 500,000+ downloads per day, and that number is expected to double by mid-2011, says Dov Cohn, Appia's VP of Marketing. And Appia has relationships with more than 50 top channel partners in place, including, as mentioned above, several of the top carriers in the U.S., plus three of the top 10 mobile operators globally.
For Brands, Carriers, OEM and Handset Manufacturers: White Label Stores
For those interested in building a branded app store experience of their own, Appia's white label service now wants to be that one-stop shop for launching a managed app store for any platforms or devices a brand, carrier, OEM or handset maker has in mind.
In addition to powering the stores for major carriers and handset manufacturers like Samsung, Appia says it now has two more deals in place with "major brands," but can't disclose what those are at this time. It also is working to expand its carrier partner relationships in Latin America and Europe.
Why this Matters: 75% of Mobile App Revenue Comes from "On-Deck" Apps
Although you may think that application stores like iTunes, the Android Market and others are the only places where developers are earning revenue, that's not actually the case. These "off-deck" stores - the ones that sell directly to consumers - only account for a fourth of the global mobile application revenues. "On deck," or carrier-managed, app stores actually account for 75% of the global app revenues. This is according to MarketsandMarkets' World Mobile Applications Market Global Forecast, released in August 2010.
That balance is changing, though. The same report notes that the number of off-deck app stores is growing rapidly, thanks to lowered entry barriers and the establishment of new stores. By the end of 2015, the off-deck app stores will just surpass the number of downloads from on-deck stores. However, even then, the on-deck app stores will be an important channel to address, for developers and store operators alike.