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News  27, Aug 2012

Blaast mobile app platform extends global reach for developers

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blaast logoBlaast, a cloud based mobile app solutions provider, has announced the availability of their whole new cloud based mobile app platform. This will enable mobile app developers to easily extend their global reach.

What’s new?

As part of leveraging the Blaast cloud-based platform, developers are provided with an array of tools as well as free global distribution. With Blaast, app distribution is quick and easy: once an app or update is published it is instantly distributed to all Blaast users, therefore allowing developers to sidestep device fragmentation issues which once limited reach. Blaast also offers developers a revenue share model based on app usage, allowing developers to benefit from recurring revenues.

New milestones announced

Blaast also announced a few impressive key milestones. They have just surpassed their four million download marks, and have established a 4000 strong developer community. On top of that, they have also partnered with key operators in Asia, adding yet another 30 million subscribers to its network of 46 million users.

Blaast sidesteps monetization and data consumption issues currently limiting Android’s reach in emerging markets

The press release also shared some of the key challenges and potential of Android in emerging markets. The press release says, feature-phone dominated markets will see a boom in smartphone penetration, representing over 65 percent of the global smartphone market by 2015, with much of the growth being lead by Android-based devices. However, while entry-level Android handsets become more affordable, their usage still faces challenges due to data price, networks and difficulties in app monetization and hardware limitations. “As hardware becomes more affordable, heavy-data-consuming software still remains a challenge. With Blaast, we aim to remove the barriers and open the door to the mobile app world through one, affordable, low-data consuming application,” commented Joonas Hjelt, CEO of Blaast.

Read on for the full press release.

 

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Helsinki, Finland– August 27, 2012 – Blaast, the leading cloud-based mobile app solutions provider, today announced the immediate availability of its cloud-based mobile app platform, which will enable mobile app developers to more easily extend their global reach, while capitalizing on the growing demand for mobile apps in emerging markets.

Blaast also announces its latest milestones, reaching 4 million downloads and a 4,000-strong developer community, along with strategic partnerships with key operators in Asia, adding yet another 30 million subscribers to its network of 46 million users.

Blaast Advantages

Currently, there are over 3 billion feature phones, with the majority located in emerging markets such as Africa, Asia and Latin America. As a result, these markets offer huge opportunities to mobile app developers as they look to extend their reach beyond more saturated marketplaces.

“Because Blaast’s mobile app platform is cloud-based it is able to make low-end mobile phones smarter by pushing the more complex functions to the cloud. As a result, Blaast requires less memory and data compared to device-based web browsing and native apps,” said Joonas Hjelt, co-founder and CEO of Blaast. “Our approach has really struck a chord with developers as well as operators looking to extend their reach both geographically as well as to the low-end device segment. In fact, we are on course to support over 500 million Blaast-enabled feature phones by 2014.”

Further reinforcing this growing trend and approach, ABI Research forecasts the number of mobile phone users who access apps through the cloud to rocket from 42.8 million in 2008 to nearly 1 billion by 2014.

As part of leveraging the Blaast cloud-based platform, developers are provided with an array of tools as well as free global distribution. With Blaast, app distribution is quick and easy: once an app or update is published it is instantly distributed to all Blaast users, therefore allowing developers to sidestep device fragmentation issues which once limited reach. Blaast also offers developers a revenue share model based on app usage, allowing developers to benefit from recurring revenues.

For users, Blaast is a subscription-based service averaging approximately $1.50 per month. This provides users unlimited access to over 100 mobile apps including more popular mobile apps such as Facebook, Twitter, Wikipedia, social games, and news. All apps are available in one download and are instantly compatible with over 2,000 mobile phone models such as Nokia Asha, Blackberry and hundreds of local brands in emerging markets. Blaast will also soon be available on Android in Q4 2012.

The Challenges and Potential of Android in Emerging Markets
According to forecasts, feature-phone dominated markets will see a boom in smartphone penetration, representing over 65% of the global smartphone market by 2015, with much of the growth being lead by Android-based devices. However, while entry-level Android handsets become more affordable, their usage still faces challenges due to data price, networks and difficulties in app monetization and hardware limitations.

These issues include:
• Consumers cannot afford the data usage required for a true smartphone experience—paying 4x more than Americans based on income disparity
• Networks in emerging economies still require major investments and are only starting to rollout 3G, meaning end users suffer from slow and busy networks
• Too many 3rd party app stores and limited payment methods for end users make monetizing apps difficult
• Entry-level Androids are limited in terms of speed, memory and overall usability, while current apps on the world market are optimized for the latest models

“As hardware becomes more affordable, heavy-data-consuming software still remains a challenge. With Blaast, we aim to remove the barriers and open the door to the mobile app world through one, affordable, low-data consuming application,” added Hjelt.

About Blaast

Blaast brings mobile apps to the next billion people. By using the revolutionary approach of running mobile apps in the cloud, and not on the device, Blaast brings rich, always-on apps to feature phones. The Blaast ecosystem consists of a vibrant 3rd party developer community, mobile operators and handset manufacturers whose goal is to provide high quality apps and user experience to mobile subscribers. Blaast’s investors include the founding engineers of Skype (Ambient Sound Investment), Veturi Venture Accelerator, Steve Blank, and ex-Nokia SVP Pekka Vartiainen. Blaast has headquarters in Finland and presence in emerging Internet markets.

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Image Credits: Tyfish

Jacky Yap

Jacky Yap

Having spent one year abroad in Shanghai under the NUS Overseas College Programme, Jacky has an avid interest in entrepreneurship and web based startups. Jacky used to run N-House, Singapore's first entrepreneurial themed residence in NUS, and was also part of the organizing team for Startup Weekend Singapore 2012. You can reach him at jacky [at] e27 [dot] co

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