Business, Software Programs

Mobile Milestones: Angry Birds, Apps, Ads, Guardian, Texting and More


Do you know how much Angry Birds earns a month, are mobile ads worth the money or just how many apps per smartphone are there? Enter our short and sweet overview of some of the most entertaining milestones in mobile. In this article, our resident analyst of all things mobile, Tomi Ahonen, brings you several quick notes on some recent numbers that will bring a smile on your face or amuse you.

Angry Birds

Angry Birds, the enormously addictive smartphone game, has passed fifty millionth download on the iPhone and Android. The game has been developed by Finnish game developer Rovio Mobile headed by our friend Peter Vesterbacka the Mighty Bird.

Most early iPhone downloads of Angry Birds were paid, but the game switched to ad-supported model on Android. Well, how is it doing so far? Try 200 million gaming minutes per day! And is it making any money? 

The game cost 100,000 dollars to develop and earns a fresh two million dollars every month. How’s that for an entertainment franchise hardly anyone heard of two years ago. Half of the income is directly from gamers, half from advertising.

Source: Advertising Age, January 18, 2011

Guardian's iPhone App is popular with 214,000 downloads... but the amount of mobile users (mobile version) is 14 times higherGuardian app

Next up is the Guardian and its mobile strategy. The Guardian has an iPhone app, but it is not blinded by iSyndrome (the mistaken notion that creating an iPhone app is tantamount to having a mobile strategy) – rather the Guardian believes in no phone left behind. So we have the numbers. May I have the envelope please?

The iPhone app has been downloaded 214,000 times. Quite nice. Now what of mobile web users of the Guardian mobile website? It has three million unique users monthly. How much bigger is the mobile web than smartphone apps? Fourteen times bigger – that’s the official number, according to Guardian.

Source: Mobile Entertainment, January 19, 2011

Augmented reality

Then what of the hottest tech story right now, Augmented Reality and its poster-child, Layar the Augmented Reality browser from the company based out of the Netherlands? The company is now a year old and there are over 1,700 separate ‘layers’ created. And how many users do they have? One million active users of Layar and a total of ten million have downloaded the Layar app and millions more ship with Samsung Galaxy devices. Congrats guys

Source: Layar presentation at XML conference in Malmo, Sweden on January 21, 2011

Mobile advertising

Just how big mobile advertising is today? It only passed one billion dollars in value just a while back. Now we hear from JP Morgan that the total value of mobile advertising in 2010 was an astounding 11.5 billion dollars! Even from the biggest numbers I saw reported for the 2009 number, that is still an enormous growth in just one year. Think about it, it’s at least 2.5 times higher growth in one year! Looks like 2010 was the year of mobile advertising?

Source: Net report by JP Morgan, January 2011

Just how many apps there are per smartphone?

And what about the app stores hype? We get ever more revealing numbers. Appsfire reported in their survey of iPhone and iOS device owners that the average iOS device has 88 apps on it per user, in addition to the twenty apps that come preloaded on the phone. About 28 percent of all apps that have been downloaded by users were paid apps, and 72 percent were free apps. Games formed 32 percent of all downloaded apps (source: Appsfire January 28, 2011). The numbers suggest that per-paid-app revenue is decreasing, meaning the economics of the App Store are deteriorating for app developers. The truth is slowly emerging, that at least paid apps are a miserable economic opportunity many times worse than other entertainment businesses like music, movies, books, etc.

Text messaging

What of my favorite service, text messaging? Informa counted that the total value of SMS was 105.5 Billion dollars.

Source: Informa, January 28, 2011