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How to Develop a Cost-Effective Mobile Platform

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There are thousands of smartphone brands entering the market every day, each one with different features and mobile platforms; some such as the iPhone and Android having their own exclusive application development platforms.

It is estimated that businesses in the US will spend about $12,000,000,000 on developing mobile apps by 2012. Hence, it becomes vital for enterprises to develop cost-effective mobile content delivery platforms and choose devices they want to deliver this content to.

Here is a how-to section on creating an effective mobile platform using lesser financial resources.

Difficulty: Average
Time Required: A few months of analysis and research

Here's How:

  1. Companies should first decide if they want to develop a mobile portal or a platform-specific mobile app. While portals offer better content delivery on small-screen handhelds, OS-specific mobile apps provide an overall richer user experience.

    Enterprises could benefit by adopting multiple approaches and platforms in order to offer targeted services to different users.

  2. Enterprises should also analyze and understand which would be the best mobile platform or platforms to offer their customers. Of course, there are many, many mobile platforms to choose from. But Android, iPhone and BlackBerry are the most preferred ones today and for the near future as well. While the first two OS’ are more user-friendly, BlackBerry tends more towards the business aspect.

    Understanding this will help them offer better services to their clients, based on user preferences.

  3. Considering the question of whether the service should be free or paid, businesses can offer basic services free to all customers and certain advanced computing facilities, offering more comprehensive content and richer user experience, at a certain cost.

    The cost itself can be determined by means of finding out how much the company would need to charge in order to make the kind of profit it wishes to. It should also take the competitors’ price into consideration.

  4. Mobile portals can either be hosted in the cloud or can even be developed in-house. The organization has to make this decision based on the complexity of content and its own financial capability to develop in-house content.
  5. Enterprises should understand that they do not need to publish all web content on mobile devices. They first should decide what type of content or mobile app they want to deliver to the user, based on the device or devices they intend to target.

    Companies also need to look into optimal mobile advertising strategies for the same, also deciding the types of channels to work with.

Tips:

  1. Organizations should balance its aims and objectives with its own profits, while producing mobile content for its users. While the basic focus should be on user experience, the company should also see to it that it does not incur huge losses in the process.
  2. Since it can still get very expensive to manage mobile content delivery via mobile portals, companies could try to develop a more-or-less unified platform to publish content seamlessly across multiple mobile channels, such as mobile apps, mobile web, print media and so on. This will also give them improved ROI on their content investment.
  3. Working with in-sync publishing across many channels pays rich dividends, as all the content remains in sync, ranging across multiple mobile channels.
  4. Rich content can easily be delivered across device-specific platforms by means of integrating different mobile SDKs. A particular device’s native features can be exploited to offer a high degree of personalized content to the end user.

What You Need

  • Mobile platform analysis
  • Mobile device expertise
  • Mobile dev team
  • Clear budgeting plan
  • Mobile marketing strategies
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  5. Mobile platforms - Developing a cost-effective content delivery platform

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