Right time, right price for mobile phone applications

Apr 9, 2009

By Maija Palmer

Published: April 8 2009 22:44 | Last updated: April 8 2009 22:44

Software developer Philippe Breuss-Schneeweiss, creator of a travel guide for mobile phones, is himself in the right place: at the forefront of the growing market for downloadable applications.

“I saw the previous internet boom but I was working for big companies and didn’t know how I could do something by myself,” he says. “Then when the Android applications market came, I thought this would be my opportunity to start my own business.”

The Austrian, who has a keen interest in history, had in his spare time been developing Wikitude, an interactive guide with information about landmarks around the world. Putting it on a Google Android phone, which can detect user’s precise location, offered a breakthrough.

Since its launch in November, Wikitude has been downloaded 95,000 times, and the numbers are still rising. Mobilizy, the company Mr Breuss-Schneeweiss set up with good friend Martin Lechner, is thinking of selling each download for about €1.

For software developers, the rapidly growing market for mobile phone “apps” – little computer programmes that run on your cellphone – provides an echo of the late-1990s tech boom. There is a buzz about emerging business opportunities; programmers with bright ideas see a chance to make money.

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