Talk about your all-time backfires. A T-Mobile ad designed to increase sales of Android aps may have ended up putting money in Apple's pocket. In the ad, comedian Dana Carvey showed off an Android app that simulates a steamed up window and allows you to 'write on the glass' by drawing designs with your finger. According to TechCrunch, this had the inadvertent effect of boosting sales for an older, similar app for the iPhone.
Israeli iPhone app developers ApParty released their iFog app in December 2008. While it sold well initially, sales quickly dropped down and stayed there, until this new T-Mo commercial lead to a surge in sales. ApParty says that the app's downloads nearly doubled following the commercial. That's pretty clear evidence that T-Mo's ad lead to the sales.
Obviously we're talking about a cheap, silly app. The sales gained by Apple aren't going to nudge their bottom line forward an inch or effect the greater industry in any way. Still, I think this whole situation illustrates something interesting about the very nature of smartphone app stores as they currently stand. When you have thousands of very similar apps made by different companies for different phones but to fulfill the same purpose, stuff like this is bound to happen.
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