Powerful Smartphones with fast mobile connections to great web services

Brands producing apps only for iPhone

, posted: 14-Jun-2010 13:11

There were two local applications announced in New Zealand last week that caught my eye.

The first is from Sky TV and is for the FIFA 2010 World Cup. It has results, standings, team lists & profiles, photo galleries and supposedly 'extensive daily video coverage'. I say supposedly because there are 3 very negative reviews in iTunes and 1 good, and I haven't used it myself. 

The second is a Fieldays application from Vodafone. It has a full list of 1,000 exhibitors by location on-stie and a list of events on at key locations. and layout of the site and you can get directions around the site. Looks very useful.

What is interesting about both of these is that the companies who sponsored them have a wide customer base that certainly extends well beyond iPhone. My very rough estimate of active Smartphone numbers in NZ today across all networks would be:

Symbian: 200 - 250K (shrinking slowly) (Nokia N/E series and high-end Sony Ericsson - so not a consistent development  environment)

iPhone: 120 - 150K (growing quickly)

BlackBerry: 80 - 100K (growing slowly)

Windows Mobile: 50-80K (shrinking quickly)

Android: 10-20K (growing slowly).

Given that both Sky and Vodafone have large customer bases then the penetration of Smartphones across that base would be expected to be similar to the above with Vodafone skewed towards the iPhone. However they have chosen to develop a key branded application only on the iPhone. They may have very good customer intelligence to justify this but for the Fieldays app specifically my gut feeling is that the rural sector has a much higher penetration of Symbian and BlackBerry given the history of both those devices working well in regional areas vs. the iPhone. Of course iPhone 4 is about to change that with its support for Vodafone's 900 MHz 3G.

I suspect the truth of it is simpler - profile and impact. iPhone has all the hype and buzz going for it and big brands are simply putting their effort where they get the best return. The Fieldays app is not only aimed at attendees to the event - it is to raise Vodafone's profile as an innovator to a wider market and cement its position with the iPhone.

The message to other Smartphone vendors is clear - at the moment you don't have the profile to justify us investing in application development. 

Are there any other examples of branded applications in NZ only on the iPhone?

Other related posts:
Steve Jobs: Rock Star!
The features Kiwis miss out on with Android 1.6
How can mobile operators add value to our Smartphone experience?

Comment by psycik, on 14-Jun-2010 14:33

NBNZ is one.  Have an iPhone app, or other users can "txt bank"

Comment by alikat, on 14-Jun-2010 14:57

Courier Post have one as well - http://www.courierpost.co.nz/About+Us/Latest+News/iphone-app-courierpost.htm

Comment by bruce, on 14-Jun-2010 15:00

10-20k for android? where do you get your numbers and i would say growing quickly, not as quick as iphone. see http://www.blogcdn.com/www.engadget.com/media/2010/05/google-io-2010-2-0632-rm-eng.jpg from http://www.engadget.com/2010/05/20/live-from-the-google-i-o-2010-day-2-keynote/

Author's note by timmyh, on 14-Jun-2010 15:10

@bruce - we just haven't had a wide range of Android devices in NZ. The LG and SE Xperia only just came out. Also there isn't the level of promotion on any of the operators yet like there is in the U.S.

Perhaps there are a lot more parallel imported but I'd still be surprised if it was too high.

Comment by bruce, on 14-Jun-2010 16:25

sorry my bad, ignore my comment .. i read it as applications .. not phones. on that note ... iphones sound too high, unless you include ipodtouch according to admob (which will soon be extremely unreliable .. thanks apple) 49,000 iphone, 42,000 ipod touch, 360 ipads android doesn't rank for nz http://metrics.admob.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/AdMob-Country-Data-April-2010.xlsx

Comment by ahmad, on 14-Jun-2010 18:01

The Sky TV app is a joke and an absolute disgrace.

Made specifically for the NEW ZEALAND market, kick off times are for local South Africa and cannot be changed!

(via Timstewartnz twitter) 

Comment by Linuxluver, on 15-Jun-2010 09:46

Android penetration in NZ is so far in spite of the local telcos, so I absolutely agree with your numbers. 

Even those who are selling Android phones (PI, PB Tech, Vodafone, Telecom) make no attempt to differentiate them from any other smartphone.

While Android backers overseas do make the effort, in NZ 9as with so many things) it is largely left to users - of whatever - to promote their own choices if they aren't the single mainstream option (assuming at least one got some 'push').  


Comment by Linuxluver, on 15-Jun-2010 09:47

JB HiFi also sell Sony Ericsson Xperia 10i. 


Comment by jfanning, on 17-Jun-2010 09:55

Symbian is not just restricted to those two categories within Nokia, Nokia has been spreading Symbian out to other models for a long time now, one example is the 5320 XpressMusic, been out for 23 months, runs Symbian, not an N Series, or E Series.  Can't take the article seriously if you get the basics wrong.

Author's note by timmyh, on 17-Jun-2010 10:35

Sorry @jfanning but I just can't take any other Nokia's seriously as Smartphones. Even some of the E & N series I think are debateable.

As Nokia just announced yesterday, they won't make their forecasts for this year in the high-end device space and as a result their share price just dropped 10%.

Nokia is in big big trouble... 

Comment by jfanning, on 17-Jun-2010 23:51

ok @timmyh, can you provide a full list all the features that are missing from Symbian, and in particular the Nokia models that you think are "debatable", which would mean they shouldn't be classed as smartphones.

Add a comment

Please note: comments that are inappropriate or promotional in nature will be deleted. E-mail addresses are not displayed, but you must enter a valid e-mail address to confirm your comments.

Are you a registered Geekzone user? Login to have the fields below automatically filled in for you and to enable links in comments. If you have (or qualify to have) a Geekzone Blog then your comment will be automatically confirmed and shown in this blog post.

Your name:

Your e-mail:

Your webpage:

timmyh's profile

Tim Hayward
New Zealand

Former 'Head of Smartphones' at Vodafone New Zealand Marketing from 2006 to 2009. Looked after all key Smartphone platforms, mobile pricing plans, marketing and sales GTM activity.

Now working on mobile application development consulting and delivery especially on projects requiring support across multiple mobile platforms (iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, Symbian). Please contact me if you have any projects you'd like us to consult or quote on: tim@hayward.net.nz