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Despite difficulties, IT firms still invest in mobile apps

VietNamNet Bridge – Complaining that making apps for mobile devices is not a good job because it doesn’t bring big money, information technology (IT) firms still spend money to develop mobile apps.

mobile apps, IT firms

App makers complain that a lot of their products cannot bring money to them, affirming that they have earned money only from 2 percent of the tens of thousands of apps made so far.

One of the main reasons behind this, according to analysts, is that the majority of Vietnamese only want to use free apps. They would “ignore” the apps if they have to pay money for, unless the apps are so attractive that they cannot refuse to use them.

In general, Vietnamese only spend money on games. However, the number of regular gamers is still not high enough to bring the stable income to app makers.

Another problem which hinders app makers to earn money is that Google does not allow Vietnamese to sell apps on Google Play, if the owners don’t have bank accounts overseas.

Bui Mai Phuong, Managing Director of VTM Mobile, said to sell Vietnamese apps on Google Play, the owners have to have foreign accounts in US dollars, Japanese yen or Thai baht. VTM Mobile itself has to use the holding company’s account in Japan when selling its apps.

However, Phuong also said that it’s really difficult to sell apps, and that the firm has to take many different jobs to earn money to “feed” its staff.

However, analysts have commented that Google doesn’t allow selling Vietnamese apps not only because of the lack of the dong payment mechanism, but also because it fears Vietnamese may buy goods through the phishing accounts.

A source said that Google is conducting negotiations with domestic partners in a plan to set up a mechanism allowing the involved parties to make payment in dong when buying apps. However, the information has not been confirmed.

However, though it’s difficult to make money for now, Tran Tuan Anh, director of mLab in the HCM City High Tech Park, believes app makers would have great opportunities in the future.

With approximately 10 million smart phones and 20 million 3G subscribers, it is a potential job to make apps for mobile devices, according to CleverNet.

Just two years ago, 99 percent of the mobile apps used by Vietnamese were foreign made. Meanwhile, tens of thousands of Vietnamese apps have been developed.

Anh said 60 percent of small app developers, mostly individuals, fail, while the other 40 percent would succeed, but in… the future.

Do Tuan Anh of Appota Company noted that in previous years, when the market was small, individuals could live well by making apps. However, nowadays, they need to join forces in big groups to gather enough the financial capability and intelligence to exist.

Thuy Trang from Samsung Vietnam has noted that developing apps on mobile devices and smart TVs is a “long run game,” and that Samsung Vietnam is willing to cooperate to all app developers.

Trang went on to say that the Vietnamese app market has caught the high attention from the big groups in the world. However, the thing Vietnam should do is to attract the capital big enough to develop good and excellent products.

Compiled by Thanh Mai

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