Perhaps in what appears to be a craze for mobile content and applications, there have been a lot of talk about appstores being launched in Nigeria this year to cater for local mobile applications.
Oh by the way, MTN Group recently announced they were launching an appstore this year.
Amazon is also said to be working on a disruptive android-based appstore.
And Webonise Lab is launching India’s first Android-specific appstore called AppBazar in April.
In Nigeria, Encipher was the first to announce last November that they were building an appstore. Encipher’s appstore will only host android apps with local content.
This was followed by another announcement by Fasmicro, the company bringing the Ovim tablet. Ovim appstore will likely be an android-only appstore.
Recently, a mobile news and reviews blog called MobilityNigeria announced that they were launching a mobile appstore. MobiStore (as they call it) will cater to all apps on Blackberry, Symbian, Android or iOS platforms.
Earlier this month, a Nigerian web developer, Zubair Abubakar announced at Mobile Web West Africa that he was building an appstore at MobileAppsNigeria.com which will also be a multi-platform apps market.
For now, it’s all talk until we see screenshots or even a functional appstore that is ready to take local apps.
But what really would these appstores look like?
I’m hoping they wouldn’t look like our famous Computer Village at Otigba Street, Ikeja. Just kidding.
But really, would they look like the iTunes appstore? The Ovi store? GetJar?
While some of them might as these seem to be the best models for appstores on the web, others would look differently, since they would offer apps on multi-platforms.
Perhaps a good example of what an android-focused appstore might look like is SildeMe.org.
But there’s something that all of them will have in common: Allow developers to upload their applications and users to search and download these applications either for free or for a fee.
But how will users pay for apps and developers monetise from their apps?
It is still uncertain what payment methods these appstores intend to integrate, though some are suggesting mobile payments.
My guess is that the appstores will only feature free apps for now, until they work out a good payment method.
That said, I’m a little worried as to how these appstores would maintain a long-term revenue stream.
At the end of the day, it is the appstore that attracts a good amount of quality apps, integrates the best payment system and help developers monetise on their apps that will be successful.
Again, we might just see some appstores merging together or forming partnerships to build a mobile content-rich application store for local apps.
What are your thoughts? Do you see local appstores providing more value than foreign ones? Will local appstores be disruptive?
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