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Mobile Design and Development by Brian Fling

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The Addressable Mobile Market

There should be no doubt that the overall mobile market is enormous. The question is, “How many of these users will our product be able to reach?” Unfortunately, this is difficult to answer, because no one knows for sure.

The market isn’t unlike the early days of the Web, a kind of lawless wild frontier in which no one cared about the addressable market; given that the cost of publishing was close to zero, anyone could experiment with the medium. In the mobile market, the cost of publishing can go from zero to $60,000 in a blink of the eye, so understanding the likelihood of a return on the investment is important.

Many companies fall into two broad categories: either they have tried something in mobile and were not impressed with the results, or they want to try to do something in mobile but are wary of making the investment needed.

There are research and analytics firms that do the research and charge a hefty price tag for their findings. Although this data is useful at times, to foster innovation and increase exposure to addressable market segments, and ultimately drive usage across the board growing the market, you need to make reasonable assumptions about the market with freely available data.

Because the costs can increase so quickly as more devices are supported, you must look for ways to keep publishing costs as low as possible by targeting the most suitable mobile device. To do this, break the market down to four comparisons: high-end versus low-end ...

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