Role of Mobile Application Distribution Sites

‘A camera which can be used as phone too’ – This is the punch line used by one of mobile phone manufacturer in India. Such is the demand of adhoc applications/functionalities in mobile phones that using them as phone has become secondary purpose. No wonder why we see so many web sites providing sharing and downloading free as well as paid content for our mobile phones.
How useful are these sites? Are they actually helpful or they are just like dot com boom wherein everyone is just trying to cashing it on? Let’s try to find out.
Some of the such well known sites are – Getjar, Mobile9 and Mobango. All of these sites are doing quite well and are having millions of registered users with them. I have been using these sites for last one year to publish our application. Although I found one of these sites better than the other two but still I would say all of them have their own advantages and limitations (I am intentionally not mentioning my favorite site as I don’t have any vested interest in any of these site, also I don’t want the readers to take me as promoter of this site J).
I would definitely like to mention that the no. of registration/users have increased to 10 times since we have started taking services of these sites (this includes paid publishing too). If you talk about only free listing, it gave us up to 3-4 times registrations/users. There are majorly three types of campaigns which you can run on these sites – 1) Wap campaign, 2) Web campaign and 3) Web and Wap campaing.
WAP campaign - As the name suggest, Wap campaign is for wap sites only (your application will be shown in their wap site when a user visits it using his/her mobile phone).
WEB campaing – again simple to understand, your application will be shown in their web site when a user visits it using his/her PC/Laptop.
Web and Wap campaign – This is the combination of (1) and (2).
Using any of the above campaign, your application will be shown in their sponsored/recommended list which is quite visible when someone enters the site and very prone to ‘click’. Some of the sites have one more section called ‘featured application’ which again is the paid section.
The area where these sites have an edge over a particular manufacturers online store (such as Nokia OVI store or iPhone app store) for a normal user is that these sites contains applications for all manufacturers instead of one particular manufacturer. So you don’t need to worry about your phone model, just visit any of these sites and you will find plenty of application for your phone.
All these sites promise to many fold your no. of downloads/registration on daily basis and this claim as per my experience is very close to reality. Having said that, I have doubts about their stats as difference between no. of downloads shown by them and no. of registration we actually got (for client-server application. You need to peep into your DB to know this difference) is huge. Although there could be your client/server issues which are causing this difference but it could not be the only reason (especially in case of our application which I know as well as I know myself). Now the question which arise is whether this difference is because of some issue in their stats or is it deliberate to inflate their numbers? The answer is GOD knows or their DEVELOPERS know.
Final words – if you are a developer or an application freak user, you must try these sites, I am sure you will find much more than you are looking for.

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