Mobile Applications that you download to your smartphone or tablet are growing exponentially and are now ubiquitous.
For app developers, the $64,000 questions is how do you monetize this business model?
If you offer an app for free, you will get many more subscribers but if you charge a fee for downloading, it you will generate immediate cash flow. Or you can go the "Freemium" route, which has both a free and paid version of the same app. The paid version simply has more features and no advertising.
By offering applications at no charge, the only way you can make money is through mobile advertising. But say you use one of the big third party services such as Google Ad Sense, you are basically at the mercy of being paid on how many clicks are generated through those targeted ads.
Granted this form of advertising is a huge growth industry, but whether your free app generates enough 'click throughs' for it to make sense.
There are a couple of big changes coming in the app world.
For one, while there is a plethora of apps to choose from from both the Apple and Android store, many users report that after downloading them, they seldom use very many of them. In other words consumers are suffering from 'app fatigue.'
More importantly, the idea of having to download an application to your mobile device's hard drive will soon be passe.
The future is in hybrid apps which are hosted by remote servers through what is known as cloud computing. These desktop apps will also have an interface that should perfectly on your smartphone or tablet,regardless of its browser. There are several advantages to this, the big one, being you save space on your device's hard drive, since you are not downloading anything.
The business model doesn't really change because you can still offer tier pricing just as you would for a native application that you have to download.
So while the technology is changing in mobile apps' delivery platform, the essential question remains, how are you going to monetize it?