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Mobile Apps: Blurring Lines Between Virtual & Physical Worlds © App Annie 2015

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  • MobileApps:BlurringLinesBetweenVirtual&PhysicalWorlds

    AppAnnie2015

  • MobileApps:BlurringLinesBetweenVirtual&PhysicalWorlds

    ExecutiveSummaryThelaunchoftheiOSAppStoreandGooglePlayin2008triggeredarevolutionindeveloperinnovation.Sincethen,mobileappshavenotonlyreinventedthevirtualworldbutalsoenhancedconsumerinteractionwiththephysicalworld.Airbnbisagreatexampleofthisoverlapaspeertopeervacationrentalshaverevolutionizedthewayconsumersthinkabouttravel.Similarly,health&fitnessappsconnectedtowearableslikeFitbithavehelpeduserseasilycreateandsticktotheirpersonalfitnessprograms.Inadditiontothese,wevefoundafewotherinterestingcasesofmobileappsthatarepoisedtohaveatransformativeimpactontheworldbyblurringthelinesbetweenthevirtualandphysical.Thesetrendsare:

    1. Ondemandtransportationwhichisevolvingintofullfledgedtransportationanddeliveryplatformsthathavethepotentialtorevolutionizeindustrieslikeretailandecommerce

    2. Educationwhichisbeingrevolutionizedbymobileappsthatmakelearningmore

    effectiveinsidetheclassroomandmoreaccessibleoutsideofit

    3. Mobilepaymentswhichareprimedtohaveanimmediateimpactonthequickservicerestaurant(QSR)industrybyreducingservicetime

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  • MobileApps:BlurringLinesBetweenVirtual&PhysicalWorlds

    TableofContents

    1. TheShiftFromTransportationAppstoTransportationPlatformsCouldTransformLastMileDelivery

    2. EducationAppsAreChangingTheWayWeLearn3. MobilePaymentsReducingServiceTimeAtQuickService

    Restaurants4. Conclusion

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  • MobileApps:BlurringLinesBetweenVirtual&PhysicalWorlds

    1. TheShiftfromTransportationAppstoTransportationPlatformsCouldTransformLastMileDelivery

    Ondemandtransportationappshaveseenexplosivegrowthoverthepastyear

    Note:Comparesdownloadsoftop5rankedondemandtransportationappswithineachquarter.AppswereidentifiedbyAppAnniefromtheiOSTravelandtheGooglePlayTransportationcategories.Ondemandtransportationappsweredefinedasonesthatallowuserstobookarideintaxisorcarsoperatedbythirdparties.Thisdefinitionexcludesgeneralnavigation,mappingandpublictransportationapps.

    Ondemandtransportationappshaveseenasharpuptickindownloadsoverthepastyear.Butithasbecomeincreasinglyclearthatthepotentialoftheseappsisfargreaterthantheir

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  • MobileApps:BlurringLinesBetweenVirtual&PhysicalWorlds

    categorizationsuggests.RecentAPIlaunchesfromcompetingappsUberandHailosuggestthattheseappsareinearlystagesofevolvingintofullfledgedtransportationanddeliveryplatforms.TheAPIsallowUberandHailotointegratewithotherappswheretransportationisanaturalneed,evenifitisnotcentrictotheactivity.ThelaunchpartnersforUbersAPIincludedappsfromcategorieslikehotel/flightbookings,restaurantreservations,localeventsandmanymore,highlightingthediversityofpotentialusecasesforthesefledglingtransportationplatforms.OneintriguingimplementationiswiththedatingappHingewhichallowsprospectivematchestobookanUberdirectlyfromitschatinterface.Meanwhile,journeyplanningappCitymapperhaspartneredwithHailotoallowtheiruserstoinstantlybookacabwhileconsideringtraveloptions.ThismultitudeofusecasesisimpressiveforAPIsthatareintheirinfancy.Butthisisjustthebeginningasondemandtransportationappshavebeenexperimentingwithwaystoincludeevenmorediverseusecases.UbersexperimentationwithUberCARGO(movingservice),UberRUSH(courierservice)andUberESSENTIALS(conveniencestoredelivery)hintatlastmilelogisticsbeingthenextfrontier.Eventhoughthefareisunlikelytobeashighasitisforferryingpassengers,thevolumeofpotentialrequestsandtheavailabilityofexcesscapacitymakesitalucrativeopportunity.Thesubsequentreductionindeliverytimescouldhaveatransformativeimpactontheretailandecommerceindustries.ThisseemstobevalidatedbynoneotherthanecommercegiantAmazoninarecentexperiment,AmazonpartneredwithtaxihailingappFlywheeltomakeonehourdeliveriesatacostofjust$5perpackage.Theseexperimentsstronglysuggestthatlastmilelogisticsarethenextevolutionarystepfortransportationplatforms.Iftheseplatformsaresuccessfulinexpandingpotentialusecases,theymightalsobeabletoattractawiderrangeoftransportationproviders.Forexample,asuccessfulentryintolastmilelogisticscouldattractindependentandsmallbusinesstruckerswhichcouldinturnincreasedemandfromtheretailandecommerceindustry.AswesawwithmobileecosystemslikeiOS

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  • MobileApps:BlurringLinesBetweenVirtual&PhysicalWorlds

    andAndroid,thisdemandsupplyfeedbackloophasthepotentialtocreatebigwinners.ThiscouldleadtoadelugeofAPIlaunchesandpartnershipannouncementsoverthenextfewyearsasotherappsjointhefraytobecomethenextmajortransportationecosystem.

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  • MobileApps:BlurringLinesBetweenVirtual&PhysicalWorlds

    2. EducationAppsAreChangingTheWayWeLearn

    Overthepastfewdecades,theinternethastransformedthewaywelearn.WhatoncerequiredalongvisittothelibrarycannowbeaccomplishedinjustafewsecondsonGoogleorWikipedia.Thankstotheexplosioninsmartphoneownership,billionsofconsumershaveaccesstotheinternetinthepalmsoftheirhands.Mobileappsarenowleveragingthistomakeeducationmoreaccessibleandeffectiveformillions.Duolingoisanexcellentexampleofthekindofappsleadingthisrevolution.Duolingohelpsuserslearnnewlanguagesthroughadaptive,bitesizedandgamifiedlessons.Recently,Duolingoalsolaunchedacrowdsourcedlanguageincubatorthatwouldletuserscontributenewlessonsforanylanguage,includingfictionalones.AsofOctober2014,thesecoursesweretakenbyover11millionusers.

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  • MobileApps:BlurringLinesBetweenVirtual&PhysicalWorlds

    DuolingosgamifiedlessonshavehelpedkeepstudentsengagedDuolingostransformativeimpactonlanguagelearningisdrivenbyamultitudeoffactors.AccordingtoastudybytheCityUniversityofNewYorkandtheUniversityofSouthCarolina,anaverageof34hoursspentengagingwithDuolingoisequivalenttoafulluniversitysemesteroflanguageeducation.Butunlikeuniversityeducation,eachDuolingolessonisdesignedtobecompletedinjustafewminutes.Asaresult,appusershavethefreedomtolearnanytimeandanywhereattheirconvenience.Also,aswehighlightedinMonetizingtheNext2Billion,Duolingoiscompletelyfreeforusers.Instead,someDuolingolearningexerciseshaveuserstranslaterealworlddocumentsforpayingcustomerslikeCNNandBuzzfeed.Thesuccessofthisbusinessmodelisreliantonthequalityofitstranslations.

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