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Airtel App Central Completes 4 Months; CricketZone Top Paid, Mig33 Top Free App

Airtel App Central, the mobile applications store from India’s largest telco Bharti Airtel, has clocked 13 million application downloads in 4 months, at a rate of 1.2 downloads per second, according to the company. Some notes on the performance:

– Rate of downloads: The pace appears to have picked up: the company had reported 2.5 million downloads in its first month of launch, and over the three months since it has averaged 3.5 million downloads a month.
– Apps: The store now offers 71,000 applications – which means that issue of application discovery should be worrying for developers; at the end of its first month, Airtel App Central offered only 1500 apps
– Compatibility: up to 780 devices, from 550 devices at time of launch

Note that discovery of applications is likely to improve, now that Airtel has launched an on device portal.

Top Cities

Top 25 Cities, in order: Bangalore tops the list in downloads, followed by Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Jaipur, Hyderabad, Kota, Pune; Surat, Jodhpur, Vadodara, Nagpur, Bhopal, Coimbatore, Udaipur, Indore, Mysore, Ghaziabad; Noida, Kannur, Hubli-Dharwad, Guwahati, and finally Ludhiana at number 25.

Top Paid Apps

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According to a statement released by Airtel, Atul Binda, President (Mobile Services) for Bharti Airtel said that their ‘Easy Single Click Purchase Mechanism’ is working, and 32% of downloads are paid for. Wasn’t double confirmation required for purchasing VAS? Anyway, with the increase in scale, the list below is remarkably different from the one at the end of the first month:

1. Cricket Zone: is an application that allows users to get latest score updates, match schedules, players’ profiles, statistics etc. This application supports multiple languages, including English, Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati, Punjabi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam and Bengali. View a screenshot of the application here
2. Rough Guides Led Zeppelin: Surprising to find a Led Zep application at number two on the list of paid apps…The Rough Guide to Led Zeppelin is a book which tells the story of the life and afterlife of one of the greatest rock bands of all time.
3. Celebrity Pairs Game: A celebrity version of the famous cards game ‘Memory’, where you have to flip cards over to find pairs. The Celebrity Pairs game has pictures of 32 celebrities.
4. Tracey Cox’s Super Flirt: Tracey Cox, former Editor at Cosmopolitan, expertly guides you through the art of Flirting. Packed with exciting concepts like body basics and seduction strategies, you will learn how to become better at attracting the opposite sex.
5. Guinness World Records Mobile: the mobile version of the Guinness Book of World Records.

Top Free Apps

1. mig33: a social networking application funded by Accel Partners, Redpoint Ventures and DCM, which allows members to chat, share photos, send gifts, play games, join groups etc, as well as use Yahoo, MSN, Google and Facebook Chat. Mig33 monetizes with virtual gifts, so it is in its interest to get maximum distribution and usage.
2. qeep: A free social networking application that allows instant messaging, live gaming, blogging, sending of text messages etc
3. Snaptu: Was on top at the end of the first month; Snaptu incorporates multiple services like Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Picasa, News from all major providers, Accuweather, Sports (international cricket and the domestic T20, football all leagues, all countries, World Cup), Movies, Sudoku etc
4. Frogger: A take on the famous Frogger arcade game, wherein one has to cross streets and rivers. I was under the impression that Frogger is a paid app.
5. Spice Sangeet: Music Spice Sangeet turns your mobile into a versatile music player where you can Browse/Search more than 1 LAKH songs. Play the song from the live music base or even Download full song/ringtone on mobile.

With as many as 71,000 applications, a majority of these will remain obscure. So who decides which apps are surfaced to visitors? Even pages with top apps listed will mean that they continue to dominate discovery. Airtel will have to eventually create separate pages for featured (editorialised), new apps, as well as top apps for the day, week, month and all time, in order to give users a wider choice, apart from similar segmentation according to category. Search will become all the more critical.

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