Piracy – Killing the Mobile App Industry


There are millions of people who download paid-for mobile apps for free. It has made a big impact on major companies such as Apple and Google. The article talks about a popular app that many of you probably heard of called Plague. Plague is a game that lets players infect a virtual world with pathogens. Within days of releasing the game to the Apple app store, hackers made it available online for free. Up to 35% of the game’s downloads have been illegal, but the game has gotten 1.6 million paid downloads. Had those illegal downloads been paid for, the app would of generated $500,000 more.

There is an obvious issue in pirating when it comes to music, movies, and video games, and now pirates have turned to the app industry, making a significant dent in mobile-app store sales. There are many ways to steal an app such as copying its code and publishing it on an online forum or legitimate app store. Sales would actually be 20% – 50% higher if it weren’t for illegal downloads.

Google, Apple, and others have been increasing security of their app stores by using process improvement, as discussed in class. Google started offering encryption keys along with paid apps to verify the app is being used on the device it was paid for. Many new game publishers are paying for anti-tampering tools to alert developers if hackers are trying to modify an app to steal it. The tools can also prevent the apps from working properly or redirect the user to Apple’s app store.

The majority of app developers do not use anti-piracy tools besides basic ones provided by the stores that sell their apps. It seems to me that it’s not worth it for most developers because some tools will make users go through extra verification steps, making apps more difficult to download and use.  A lot of developers are using a freemium approach, where they have ads on the app for the customers who do not want to purchase it, and ad-free version for those who do purchase it. Also, the people who download the apps illegally will have the ads version.

The developer of Plague says that he “hopes to convert pirates into paying customers by luring them with new features and updates.” In my opinion, I do not think that it will make a major impact by doing that, but it will definitely help a little bit. The article also states that piracy helps promote marketing and advertising for app developers. Overall, piracy has a big impact on the $10 billion dollar app industry

Do you think developers should invest more money to eliminate piracy?

Does piracy help promote marketing and advertising?

Do you think by adding new features and updates to apps, it will help decrease piracy?


Let me know how you guys feel about the topic. Here is the link to the article: 


“The headphone jack is going to be on the bottom…POOOFF!!”

Everyone knows that the iPhone 5 and Samsung Galaxy S3 are two of the hottest phones out right now. Based on the marketing techniques used by Samsung this year, its obvious that the 2 companies are in fierce competition.  Most of you have seen the Galaxy S3 commercial making fun of Apples iPhone 5 and its users. The title of my post is from a quote in the commercial for those of you who haven’t seen it. I find the commercial to be quite clever and humorous (link for commercial posted below). Also, the day before the iPhone 5 was launched, Samsung used aggressive advertising on billboards and newspapers stating that the bigger screen and 4G network is already here, meaning the Galaxy S3. Now, Samsung is expanding the commercial to Australia and New Zealand later this month. Samsung usually does not go to these lengths when advertising for their devices, especially directly targeting a specific product. The article explains just how severe the rivalry between the two has become, since they are intensely battling over patent infringement as well. I feel that this has got to be the biggest rivalry between any two cellular phones. Samsung actually overtook Apple last year to become the largest smart phone maker, but strong demand for the iPhone 5 might cause Apple to take that title.



–       After 3 days of launching, Apple sold more than 5 million iPhones.

–       $647 million spent on advertising for iPhone in the US from its release in 2010

–       $2.8 billion spent on marketing for Samsung in the second quarter, up from 1.97 billion a year earlier

–       In the second quarter, Samsungs market share was at 34.6% compared to Apples 17.8%


As stated in our chapter 5 slides, the objective of the product decision is to develop and implement a product strategy that meets the demands of the marketplace with a competitive advantage. I think Samsung has the competitive advantage with there advertising commercial because it strengthens and positions them better in the business environment. I feel like the commercial was a smart move on Samsungs part, and with out it, Apple would have more of a  “newer product” advantage against Samsung. Since the iPhone 5 is newer, I think it was key for Samsung to use the strategy of the direct commercial making fun of Apple.

As you can see, Samsung spends heavy on advertising to keep up with its strong rival. How big of an impact do you guys think this commercial was for Samsung?

Do you guys think it was a smart move by making fun of iPhones and its users?  Do you agree that they should expand the commercial in different regions?

Was this commercial essential for Samsung to stay competitive with Apple?

Let me know what you all think!

S3 Commercial: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QR8A3T6sPzU               

Article: http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2012/10/07/new-battle-brewing-between-samsung-and-apple/