7 March 2011
Underserved markets represent an opportunity for app developers. A place to make your mark and establish yourself is the rapidly growing Intel® AppUp(sm) center. A number of high-profile, branded applications, catering to the interests and unique perspectives of women, have been appearing in the store, helping create a niche that is likely to become an important market segment. Pay attention to what women like and build your apps accordingly and you'll increase your odds of success as this important segment grows.
Women in the mobile market segment group referred to as tech selectives aren't fixated on technology and gadgets for their own sake. Instead, they typically use technology in a measured way to enhance their lifestyles, keep them informed, gain social benefits, improve their health and fitness, and enjoy relaxing entertainment. Our findings from focus groups show that women gravitate to Intel AppUp because it's so easy. Members of this market segment tend to carefully consider each app before downloading, weighing user comments and content ratings thoughtfully because netbooks are also used by children in the family. The women in the focus groups also valued the try-before-you-buy feature, because they like to see if an app is a good fit for them. Because the overall reaction to Intel AppUp was so positive, we think female tech selectives are a rich target market segment for developers.
To meet the expectations of women in the tech selectives segment, an app should be streamlined for easy use, cater to women's interests, and have a strong element of fun. Areas of interest can cover a wide spectrum; a few app possibilities might be: an app for sharing movie or book reviews; a quick guide to yoga poses or health topics; a journal for storing and sharing progress in a running or other exercise program; an app devoted to an artist, musician, or movie celebrity; an app for planning menus and tending an herb garden; an app for collecting and writing haikus; or any kind of apps that help keep busy women including moms organized.
My previous InMarket article offered additional insights into the preferences that exist within unique consumer segments.
Some high-profile apps now appearing in the Intel AppUp center show how some of the major players are gaining attention in this market segment. Intel and Adobe have been recruiting these big names to drive consumers to the app store; however, to build a really great experience for women tech selectives once they get there, we need a large selection of new and interesting apps. Use the following examples as a launch pad of ideas for creating your own app:
Other noteworthy apps available in the store that fit the tech selective profile well are the Josh Groban app (called Desktop Josh), Thumbplay music app, Cozi Express calendaring app, and 21 Days to Building a Habit app.
Once you build an app, you want to make sure it gets distributed to new users. The good news is that Intel is embracing a rather open distribution strategy, offering retailers and OEMs their own branded stores. At CES 2010, the Intel AppUp center beta was launched, with about 100 applications, all targeting Microsoft Windows netbooks. One year later, as CES 2011 has come and gone, the center features over 2000 netbook apps and a growing collection of Intel AppUp stores branded by major retailers, top channel resellers, and OEMs. In fact, Best Buy* in the United States and Canada, UK-based Dixons*, India-based Croma*, CompUSA*, Future Shop*, Home Shopping Network*, Tiger Direct*, Newegg* and Walmart.com* have opened their own app stores based on the Intel AppUp center. Taking this momentum further, we are expanding the Intel AppUp center on consumer laptops to be available in February thereby bringing a whole new audience to your apps (see Figure 2). Both netbook and laptop platforms are ideal for repurposing some of your existing web content and Adobe Flash assets, so be sure to do a quick test of your apps on a 64-bit laptop before submitting to Adobe InMarket.
If you've been considering producing an app—to take part in one of the most exciting areas in software development today—it's worth thinking about the possibilities of underserved markets, particularly Adobe AIR apps for women, to reach a motivated and appreciative audience. With the free code signing certificate worth $200 currently available from Adobe on the InMarket Portal, this is an ideal time to put your coding skills and expertise to good use and win over a whole new group of loyal customers.
To venture into fast-moving waters of app development, download and use the Adobe InMarket licensing SDK. You'll find it in the InMarket Portal or at appdeveloper.intel.com. For a limited time, Adobe is granting a free code-signing certificate a $200 value when you register through the portal. When your app is ready to go, publish it to the Intel AppUp center.
Think fun. Think value. Think of the kinds of apps the women in your life might enjoy. And start developing . . .