Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Are Arabic Apps relevant?

Last night a friend and I were discussing about the relevance of Arabic Apps. We had a few interesting arguments for developing Arabic apps vs. going global.
What speaks against Arabic Apps:
  • Domestic Arabic app economy is not large enough. Using national or local content will not be profitable.
  • Users adopted to use Apps in English or French partly feel more comfortable with it
  • It is hard to be profitable with Arabic apps. This is because credit card penetration is low and number jail broken devices are high. There is still no culture of paying for software.
  • Arabs do not always share the same culture e.g. a user from Marocco might have a different sense of humour than a user from Iraq.
 What speaks for Arabic Apps:
  • Tremendous amount of content/ideas.
  • App culture is becoming mainstream.
  • It is still a niche and probably with intelligent concepts this might become more relevant
  • Less competition
  • Huge potential
It is our culture we have to keep it alive
If we look why developers in the region are successful, we quickly see that their products were international.
For example:
  • Dermandar
  • Bandar Apps
  • Weather HD
I do not know a single Arabic app that was profitable by selling the app in the region, please correct me if I am wrong. I would love to see that I am wrong.
Nevertheless I think Arabic content is extremely relevant but it still needs some time to be profitable. Once we reach this level the quality of apps will increase, as companies will compete to reach the Arabic speaking audience. So due to the little money flow in the Arabic app ecosystem there are only few companies that produce high quality content to be attractive enough to reach a high number of sales. I hope this changes soon. What is your opinion actually on paying for apps? Would you pay for an app?

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