Meet the Myriad Group. 3.7 Billion apps shipped to over 2.2 billion phones.
The Myriad group brings social networking and other applications to a vast range of devices from the lowest of the lowly phones to the most advanced smartphones, but they concentrate on the low end phones and for a good reason.
They’ve got a software product that allows android apps to be run on non-android devices and their whole strategy seems to be that any application should be available to any phone through a series of very clever hacks.
Several quotes from this interview stand out for me (apologies for the terrible interviewer, just ignore him and listen to Benoit Schillings Myriads’ CTO), which is that 75% of your potential users are on low end phones without a data plan, that the company is only 18 months old, that they have a browser which works in only .5M of ram targeted to low end handsets.
Myriad can be found on the web at MyriadGroup.
There is a very large potential (and likely transitional) market here for savvy starter-uppers and with everybody else focusing on 3G and high end phones.
One key insight here is that ‘dumb’ phones are not as dumb as they seem and that in the end people don’t actually use 1000’s of apps on their phone but that a large segment of the market will use a fairly limited set of applications, ‘core applications’, including a browser to unlock the power of the web. Another key insight is that they economize on bandwidth to reduce the costs to the end user and to deal with the realities of the mobile market, which is that bandwidth may seem unlimited but in practice is one of the most limiting factors.
One way in which you might be able to capitalize on this in a very straightforward way would be to ensure that your web-based applications targeted at mobile users are compatible with Myriads’ browser.