Mobile apps have long been very targeted and personalized, but is it possible to gear a whole app store to appeal to a certain segment of users? That’s the goal of SurfKitchen, which has launched a new White Label App store that makes the company’s SurfKit Mobile Internet Platform available to mobile providers as a managed service.
The idea is to allow anyone to quickly create a customized app store, targeted at users using a range of devices and potentially populated with apps that appeal to certain segments. With this platform, essentially any operator can launch an app store—and relatively quickly. The platform provides a template for a storefront, apps catalog, app launcher and carrier-class mobile server, as well as a reporting platform that tracks consumer downloads and other analytics.
SurfKitchen’s announcement comes on the heels of the acquisition of the company by Sweden-based Teleca, a move intended to amplify Teleca’s ability to develop customized mobile app strategies for companies of all sizes. The company already helps large media and entertainment businesses like ABC News develop and deploy their mobile strategies. SurfKitchen (which will operate as an independent business unit) extends that expertise to the mobile operator world.
“Operator-run app stores are still in their early stages of development, and have so far been eclipsed by the bigger and more popular storefronts from the likes of Apple and Google, but there is still a big opportunity out there when you consider that smartphone penetration is only around 300-350 million units today, compared to the billions of mobile and other wireless devices overall.”
Developments like this certainly are good news for the developer community, since any additional exposure and availability can mean broader use of developer apps. SurfKitchen’s white label storefront also has features that let the service provider preview apps on the home page, providing another opportunity for better app exposure.