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FINANCIAL CHRONICLE™ » FUN CHRONICLE™ » 'Huge' potential for Facebook mobile apps in SL

'Huge' potential for Facebook mobile apps in SL

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CSE.SAS

CSE.SAS
Global Moderator

The local market has "huge" potential for Facebook mobile applications (apps) because of this platform's mass market appeal and wide penetration, according to Gehan Dias, a founder of Appwolf, a two-and-a-half year-old Sri Lanka-based mobile app developer which earns its revenues primarily from creating apps for international companies in the iOS (Apple) mobile platform space. Facebook currently has close to a billion users worldwide and over a million users in Sri Lanka.
Gehan Dias

However, Mr. Dias also noted that, locally, the Android mobile platform was proving to be more popular in terms of apps developed for domestic companies. This is because most do not use Apple products in Sri Lanka, mainly as a result of their costliness, so Android is the better alternative locally. On the other hand, most international projects that his company undertakes involve, first, the development of apps for iOS and, later only, Android.

This is because iOS apps are easier to find, etc. while Android's are more fragmented and harder to find.
He also revealed that, for Appwolf, iOS app revenue was overshadowing revenue from Android apps, with his company having developed 20 plus apps in total to date, while Facebook app development was still in its infancy. Further indicated, Appwolf's first Facebook app would only be ready in the next month-and-a-half.

Appwolf, which currently counts local companies such as ODEL and Ceylon Tobacco as clients, has also created several apps under its own banner for sale at the AppStore and Android Market, including a location-based dating app, called "Singles," and a puzzle game app named "Block Samurai."
At the same time, Mr. Dias also signalled that Appwolf, which charges US$ 3,000 for developing a basic app, would focus on wooing big local brands, mainly in terms of apps for branding, but also more functionally geared, Salesforce.com type apps for local corporates, while also continuing to go after off-shore business by way of international creative agency networks, which has been the company's key source of international work since its beginnings, with it only having started competing for local work over the last six months.

He also added that the type of foreign work had shifted from mainly branding type apps to more functional and operational apps such as the one that was done for a foreign NGO where data collection in the field was the main purpose of the mobile app. Additionally, it also emerged that Appwolf's new Facebook app development initiative would primarily address an identified domestic need.

Asked to comment on his experience in local hiring in terms of mobile app development, Mr. Dias revealed that with regards to iOS there was a real lack of skills available in Sri Lanka, probably due to the lack of access to iOS devices.

However, this was not the case with Android as there were a few hobbyists locally. But, he added, the biggest issue of all was that no one was taking mobile app development seriously in the local context because it was felt that this work was hard to monetise, and so there was space for a really professional app developer here.

http://www.sundaytimes.lk/111218/BusinessTimes/bt49.html

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