GetJar head: feature phone apps present short term opp

18 Apr 2012
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EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Ilja Laurs, executive chairman of GetJar, said that the feature phone market provides a “short term opportunity” for developers, due to the lack of competition when compared to the more established smartphone markets. However, when targeting these users, developers will have to take into account the fact that the apps they produce will need to be scrapped in a relatively short period of time, as technology shifts toward smartphone platforms.

In a wide-ranging interview with Mobile World Live, Laurs said: “If you’re looking to establish your brand, and then migrate users to the smartphone, that might be a strategy, because the marketing spend on feature phones today is very effective – you can get a user for five cents on feature phones simply because nobody wants them. Just to give a sense of perspective, if you want to get an Android user or iPhone user you’re looking at one to two dollars, so it’s a massive difference in marketing.”

But the shift in the market away from feature phones means that the investments developers make now will not be supported for long. “This is the technology which you will have to scrap in two years. So you will have to rebuild it on smartphone platforms, simply because it doesn’t look like Java or Symbian, that are typically platforms behind feature phones, are going to make it beyond that,” he continued.

Laurs became executive chairman of GetJar earlier this month, having handed CEO responsibilities to the company’s US-based COO, Chris Dury. The company sees the US market as one of its key growth areas, driven by its presence in the Android apps space.

Watch the full interview here.

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Steve Costello

Steve works across all of Mobile World Live’s channels and played a lead role in the launch and ongoing success of our apps service. His next challenge is to manage and grow our devices channel. He has been a journalist...More

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