Vodafone have clearly been watching Apple and the success of their apps store as they are themselves jumping on the apps bandwagon. With the mobile phone market now reaching saturation it is clear that mobile phone companies and manufacturers need to add value to their operation or risk losing their market share altogether. It is estimated that Apple has managed to provide in the region of $25 billion of apps to their mobile phone customers, of which there are literally now thousands of titles from gaming to social networking and everything in between.
Of course Vodafone won’t be able to compete with such a vast array of titles in the beginning, nor are they trying to. Vodafone would just like to be able to gain extra income and customer loyalty by providing ‘must have’ extras. Vodafone as a leading mobile phone network, has a variety of phones that they supply to their customers therefore the mobile phone apps need to be available for a wide variety of different handsets. A quick visit to their site and it is obvious that at the moment they have a limited number of apps available, they do have the usual suspects Facebook, YouTube, bebo, ebay to name but a few, but many more are expected to be available in the near future. Vodafone have also launched a special API (application programming Interface) which they hope will encourage developers to link their applications to.
The phone makes that are currently available to have app downloads are Blackberry, LG, HTC, Motorola, Nokia, Samsung, SAGEM, Sony Ericsson and Vodfone. Prices for the current downloads at the Vodfone site range from free to £5 per month and cover interest such as music, games, TV & Video, news, travel, shopping and sport.