SMS is the new black

A review of mass market mobile apps


In short:

Exploring the mobile applications and services that will appeal to the mass market of consumers, increasing the profits for the industry in the process.

– – –

As the founder of Joshua PR and someone who has worked in the mobile space for a number of years I am fascinated by (and represented a few of) the latest, ‘cool’ mobile apps. Yet, at the same time the boring pragmatist in me knows that not all of them will become a commercial success. I know for a fact that my mum will never Tweet – yet her demographic still makes up a huge percentage of an operator’s core subscriber base.

Operators are perpetually talking about finding the next ‘killer app’. Or to put it in more bluntly, they are looking to replicate the unexpected success that they achieved with SMS – the now almost completely ubiquitous messaging service (that even my mum uses!).

It has occurred to me on a number of occasions that what they should be doing is looking at ways to extend and build upon the successful and profitable services they have, before launching new, innovative and often doomed services. And if they want to launch new apps, they need to bring consumers along with them and not launch something that is too geeky for the average subscriber.

So, instead of just muse about it – I thought I’d write about it.

The name of the blog is a reference to the fashion world. Every season it seems that it always comes back to the ‘little black dress’. Almost every new season someone pronounces that ‘green is the new black’ (or whatever the colour of choice is), only for it later to be corrected that actually ‘black is the new black’ as someone updates and improves on the classic. Well, for mobile operators I believe that SMS is the new black – it’s always been there and it is time (especially now with the economic climate as it is) for them to add a subtle update to their own little black dress.

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