Monthly Archives: August 2010

Shopping on the Go – eCommerce iPhone Apps

As fantastic as the iPhone browsing experience is in comparison to its predecessors, the fact is that it’s far from perfect. You can check your email, browse a couple of sites etc,  but if you were looking to make a purchase from your favourite shopping website, it would be a “finicky” job to say the least.

This is, of course, what inspired so many retailers to develop mobile apps that simplify the process. Amazon, eBay, AllSaints, Sainsbury’s… big retailers with iPhone (and some cross platform too) apps that enable a user to make purchase from their phone quickly and easily.

You can see the appeal when you look at the numbers:

  • 10 million Brits using mobile internet
  • 26% of the UK mobile user base has a Smartphone
  • 23% of the UK’s mobile user base browses the Internet via mobile.

That’s a massive potential market.

As an avid online shopper myself I was slow, to say the least, when it came to adopting shopping on my iPhone, but as more and more people took it up, I followed suit and openly admit now to making (often impulse) Amazon purchases while standing at bus stops! But another application I’ve personally found for eCommerce iPhone Apps is price checking while out on the High Street. If you’re going to make particularly pricey purchase, it’s always worth checking the price online and I generally make the Amazon app my first port of call. If I’m not sure about the price in the shop I’m in, I’ll check it on Amazon and purchase from my iPhone if it’s a better deal.

There’s mixed opinions as to whether or not eCommerce mobile apps will ever completely replace the traditional internet shopping experience. But irrespective of where you stand on that debate, there’s no argument against the fact that mobile application shopping opens up your virtual store to a new market and makes shopping more convenient and on-demand than ever before.

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UK Mobile Internet Usage Statistics Highlight Business Opportunity!

23% of the UK’s mobile phone users now use their handsets to access the internet That’s according to Ofcom’s latest findings and marks a growing trend in the British population going “mobile” in their browsing.

Of course, much of this usage can be attributed to the 26% of UK mobile users who now have Smart Phones and as the uptake in such handsets increases, so too will mobile internet usage, reiterating the importance of reaching out to this market as part of an Internet Marketing strategy.

What the stats don’t tell us is how many people use their mobile devices exclusively – completely omitting use of a computer at all. With tablets such as the iPad and similar devices soon to be released by competitors though, most casual internet users can quite feasibly get by using mobile devices alone for their Internet. Could this be the next trend?

Most mobile devices are generally aimed at internet content consumers, rather than creators. But as a large proportion of the general ‘consumer’ population categorise themselves as such, this continues to be a growing marketing opportunity for businesses.

From e-commerce apps, to store fronts and simple brand awareness fun apps, the commercial benefit of iPhone, iPad, Android and Blackberry development is becoming more evident with every bit of research carried out into user habits.

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3 of the Most Controversial iPhone Apps – That WERE Accepted!

Apple’s App Store moderation process has resulted in a lot of bad press for the gadget giant. Given the amount of positive press they get, you have to question whether they’re all that bothered! But the tight guidelines have seen some seemingly fine apps rejected for a variety of reasons.

Of course, there are some perfectly legitimate rejections too, but the process has been criticised for being far too strict.

That’s not to say, though, that nothing ‘questionable’ has ever made it onto the app store.

Here are three of the most controversial iPhone apps to have ever made it onto the store!

I Am Rich

The ‘I am Rich’ iPhone app wasn’t particularly offensive. In fact, it was just displayed an image of a red gem on your iPhone. However, despite its lacking functionality it came wth a rather hefty price tag of $999! Its iTunes description might go some way to understanding why:

“The red icon on your iPhone or iPod Touch always reminds you (and others when you show it to them) that you were able to afford this. It’s a work of art with no hidden function at all.”

8 people bought the app for its steep asking price before Apple removed it from the app store.

Personally, I struggle to see the issue! It didn’t claim to have any functionality and its description was clear enough. No functionality, but a hefty price tag! Anyone who bought it, surely, knew exactly what they were doing? But despite the fact that Apple would have enjoyed its 30% on every single sale, they decided enough was enough and pulled the app, reportedly after receiving complaints. However, there’s nothing in the terms of service about pricing apps based on functionality…. so what the official reason given was remains a mystery!


There was, however, an official reason given for the removal of ‘Babyshaker.’ Apple stated that this particular iPhone application was “deeply controversial,” and indeed it was.

The application was simple enough in its functionality…. shake the iPhone, thus shake the virtual baby on the screen to “make it stop crying.”

It’s little surprise that this application caused public outrage. There was more negative press aimed at Apple for allowing this onto the App Store in the first place, than was directed at the developer for even creating this highly controversial application.

This, of course, raised serious questions about how tight the screening process is, for someone to be able to get such offensive content onto a platform from which it could attract an audience of potentially millions.

Apple promptly responded to media outcries and public complaints and removed the application.


The Slasher iPhone app was removed from the app store back in August 2008, the same year of removal of both of the previous ones in this post.

The app was simple enough. It displayed an image of a knife and when you made “stabbing motions” with the phone, it played a “horror” type sound.

However, its simple functionality raised some unwanted attention from groups in the UK who argued that this could encourage violence. Despite claims to the contrary by many, Apple pulled the plug on this freebie app, citing one of its terms and conditions that stipulates that “objectionable” material is not allowed.

You could argue that “objectionable” is entirely down to personal opinion, of course, but what that clause has proved to be is Apple’s get out clause when an app results in mass controversy.

Interestingly enough, some of the most high profile app store removals were almost two years ago. Has Apple tightened up its screening process since then? You would think so. However, where there’s a mass audience, controversy can come from the most unexpected corners, so we wouldn’t be surprised to see more stories like these arising in the future!

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iPhone 5???

Ok, so just when you think you finally have the most recent Apple model and arguably the best Smart Phone on the market, the rumour mill begins turning and you need to start saving up for the next one! Yes, it was, perhaps, inevitable that the iPhone 5 rumours would start. I wasn’t expecting them quite so quickly myself, though!

However, with the negative press concerning the iPhone 4 “death grip,” I very much doubt that Steve Jobs and co mind the speculation.

If, however, you’re getting dizzy trying to keep up with all of Apple’s latest gizmos and gadgets, you probably won’t welcome the news.

Not to worry though. This really is just blogger speculation at present and it’s unlikely we’ll see any new iPhone models (with the exception of the white iPhone 4) any time soon.

However, if the speculation is (very hypothetically of course) in any way remotely accurate, then Apple’s next smart phone might well be getting even smarter. Apple has already filed patents around NFC or ‘Near Field Technology,’ and the rumour is that this is with a view to incorporating some elements of this into the next phone model. This could effectively turn your iPhone into a debit or credit card. Pretty impressive.

But let’s not get too carried away, right? It’s probably a long time coming!

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The White iPhone 4 is Coming….

… but not until the end of the year according to UK network provider, Orange.

Apple recently announced the release of the white model of its iPhone 4 has been delayed until “later this year,” but Orange has done one step further in specifying that it will actually be the end of the year before we can get our hands on one.

Whether or not Orange have more information than us, the consumer, isn’t clear. You’d think they might though. Either way, the company has been emailing customers to tel them it won’t be arriving until the end of the year and encouraging them instead to gethold of the black one now.

This will be somewhat disappoing for British consumers who’ve held off on their purchase in the hope of the white iPhone putting in an appearance sooner rather than later. But by the time it hits UK shores, the iPhone 4 will be approaching 6 months old!

The logical question might be, “Does is make any difference?” If you really want a white one, can’t you just get a white cover? Evidently, though, for some people, it really does make a difference, with many consumer resorting to carrying out some cosmetic surgery on their new gadgets. Tech site, Engadget released a ‘how-to’ on making your iPhone white. Unless you’re pretty handy with DIY, though, we wouldn’t recommend it and it’s also worth pointing out that doing that to your phone is likely to void any warranty you have!

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