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iPhone

REPORT: How Free-to-Play iOS Game Developers Thrive in a Market Forecast to Be 200M by 2012

High Noon iPhone MMO

Many of the most successful iOS games are not sold by big name publishers like Electronic Arts. Rather, they’re from smaller developers and are not even sold at all, but given away in the App Store’s Free section, earning their revenue via in-app payments. Flurry, a mobile app analytics company, recently reported that of the Top 100 grossing iOS games this June, 65% were freemium. This analysis is consistent with data samples taken from AppData.com, Inside Network’s service that tracks app and developer leaderboards. On a recent day, for example, 15 of the top 25 grossing iOS apps were free (and 8 of 10 paid apps were just priced at $0.99.)

What’s more, the total market for freemium iOS games is poised to rapidly grow. It’s currently 75-150 million, and forecast to reach 200 million by 2012. That forecast comes from Jeferson Valadares, GM of games, at Flurry. “The total iOS base now exceeds 300M devices,” he explained to SocialTimes Pro. “We assume that at least a quarter to half of those play freemium games, as games are the most popular category on iOS, and freemium games are the most popular form of gaming. If Apple continues to grow daily activations of iOS devices at 350,000 per day (a conservative estimate based on recently released Apple numbers) over the next two years, then they will add approximately 90 million new devices each year for the next two years. If we assume a quarter of those users will play freemium games, then the market will add over 50 million new freemium gamers over the next two years.”

What kind of games are succeeding in this new ecosystem? SocialTimes Pro talked with two leading developers about the secrets behind their high grossing titles:

Reminiscent of FarmVille with strategy elements, in The Playforge’s Zombie Farm, the player must harvest zombies like they were crops, and then send them to attack neighbors. Since launching 17 months ago, the company reports the game has attracted over 12 million downloads and monthly active users in the millions, The Playforge VP and general manager Thomas Chung told us.

The best strategy for increasing in-app purchases? For The Playforge, said Chung, “[it] has been to seed users with virtual currency and tutorializing them how to spend it.” In fact, he told us, the company gives away six times as much virtual currency as they actually sell.

High Noon is an extremely popular iOS game which mixes first-person shooter and MMO elements with innovative gameplay that uses the iPhone’s internal accelerometer. According to the developer, it currently has about 1 million monthly active users and 250,000 daily active users. It’s performed well in many countries and, in 2010, was the top 10 grossing game of the year in 60+ countries, according to Apple Rewind.

Developed by Beijing-based Happylatte, managing director Bjørn Stabell told SocialTimes Pro that social media is not very important to their monetization rates: “We do leverage Facebook Connect and Apple Game Center to find friends,” as Stabell put it, “but the game is mainly viral through word-of-mouth and in the real world; the funky controls for holstering and reloading makes the very act of playing the game essentially an ad for the game and acts as a good conversation starter.”

Read more about monetizing free-to-play iOS games in the latest SocialTimes Pro report.

Differences Between An Average iPhone And Android User [Infographic]

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People are often judged by their cars, jobs and houses, but can someone be judged by the mobile phone that he/she keeps? According to an Infographic published by Hunch, users possessing a specific smartphone (Android or iPhone) tend to possess certain traits. The Infographic also provides statistics on the ongoing battle between iOS and Android devices.

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Android Beats iPhone in Australian Smartphone Market

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Android has outnumbered the sales of iPhone for the first time in Australia. During the last 12 weeks Android accounted for 42.9% of the total smartphones sold in Australia compared to 37.2% of Apple’s iPhone, according to new figures revealed by Kantar’s ComTech WorldPanel.

If we consider only the last four weeks, Android stands on 54% of the smartphones sale (compared to 29 per cent for Apple). This gives a clear indication of Android’s increasing dominance in Australian market synonymous to the US and Western Europe. The recent rise of Android in Australia can also be attributed to the impressive new devices launched by Samsung and HTC in recent months, namely the Samsung Galaxy S II and HTC’s Desire S, Desire Z and Incredible S.

Kantar’s statistics are based on regular interviews every four weeks with a panel of 10,000 Australians aged 16+ ( representation of all population’s age, gender, region and working status). Kantar doesn’t pay the participants to do the survey but do send out gift vouchers as a token of appreciation. The surveys also measure stats such as the actual ownership, purchases, and usage of mobile devices.

Despite the clear statistics, analyst like Foad Fafaghi (from Tersyte) still believe the glory of Android will be short lived as people may be holding off their iPhone purchases in anticipation of the iPhone 5. He thinks that the sale figures of iPhone will lead once again when the next iPhone comes out.

New Technology to Disable iPhone Camera at Live Shows?

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The music industry will never rest. Years ago they made a concerted effort to limit file sharing among music lovers, tacking down Napster and creating a sense of guilt among those who downloaded songs, branding them as pirates. Now, in the era of the smartphone and social network, the music industry is once again trying to limit media. Read more

Find New Music with Frenzapp

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Continued efforts toward translating community-based music fandom to the digital age are always welcome — even though the process can be made tricky by the fact that this type of work only succeeds when many users are on board with the same software. Frenzapp Music, like so many others, hopes to solve this common problem by becoming the go-to app for everyone’s music sharing needs.

Bitsmedia, developers of Frenzapp Music, are positioning the recent release as a companion version to their original app-sharing software, Frenzapp. Like its predecessor, Music is easy to navigate, aesthetically pleasing and laden with useful features (like seamless Twitter, Facebook and iTunes Music Store integration) and only needs widespread support to become a truly outstanding social music tool.

While it’s impossible to predict whether or not Frenzapp will catch on, its excellent design and developer pedigree make it worth a look. The app’s foundation is definitely strong enough (particularly impressive aspects of the program include streaming song previews, location-based recommendation scanning and full playback controls for all tunes stored on a user’s iOS device) but, like all software of its ilk, it will sink or swim based on its popularity.

If enough people decide to take Frenzapp for a spin we could have a beautiful thing on our hands. One of these days there must be some sort of uniting of the collective unconscious, a wondrous, universal decision to all download the same social music app. And for that hyperbolic utopia to become reality we all have to agree on the best available software. So why not check out Frenzapp Music through its iTunes App Store or official site for a start? It is free after all!

Find, Share And Buy Music On The Go with Exfm Music Discovery App For iPhone

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Exfm, a web music discovery service, formerly known as Extension Entertainment has officially gone mobile with its first mobile app released for iOS. Exfm was founded in March, 2010 in New York City. It started as a browser extension for Chrome that turns the entire web into your personal music library. Exfm runs in the background and indexes every MP3 file you come across while browsing. Exfm also continuously check the previously visited sites to fetch new music every day.

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Dropp Combines Yelp Recommendations and FourSquare Check-Ins Into One App

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Dropp, by Sense Lab, is an amazing new app at the Apple app store that lets users add location-based message and photos to a place to be read by friends and other users. Leaving a Dropp is very simple, all you have to do is open the app, use the map and leave a text/picture message at your current location. Its like leaving a message capsules at a particular place having no time boundaries.

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