It appears that a new sheriff has taken over Google’s Android Market, and he’s carrying a big red marker. Accordingly, every app in the store must now carry one of four content ratings: All, Pre-Teen, Teen, or Mature. Gambling — the simulated kind, as real gambling is not allowed in the Emerald City, er, Android Market — is considered Teen or ‘above’, which we guess means Mature, because that’s the only rating above Teen. Any app submitted without a rating will be automatically rated Mature.
And you’ll want to submit an app, whether it’s for Android or Apple or whomever. Especially if you were at the recent Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco, where many of the statistics being bandied about occasionally compelled one’s jaw to unhinge. For instance, Chinese search engine Baidu’s CEO Robin Li revealing that 99% of China’s online population used his service. Or the Morgan Stanley internet analyst who claims smartphone sales will eclipse both PC and laptop sales by 2012.
Mary Meeker told her Summit audience that smartphone sales were expected to hit 450m by 2012, increasing to 650m by 2013. The ‘State of the Internet’ address noted that while China’s 14.5m smartphone users represents just 2% of the overall population, that figure is 941% up over the same quarter last year.
The boom in smartphone sales should ring alarm bells for any company not already tailoring their content for the devices. If you need further incentive, consider that the percentage of smartphone page views of Japan’s booming social networking site Mixi has gone from 17% to 84% in just the past four years.
As for the broader internet, Meeker drew attention to the similarly sized audiences (about 27m apiece) for Zynga Poker and American Idol, then noted that the cost per impressions on Zynga was $30 cheaper than from buying an ad on the televised karaoke competition. Not for nothing does Meeker think online advertising is ‘ripe for innovation.’
Ooohhh… That sounds like a challenge, online gaming industry… We fancy ourselves a pretty innovative bunch, right? So are we going to take this challenge lying down?