IR apps are still in their infancy as many public companies work to define what role mobile technology and apps should play in their IR communications. Blackberry’s release of its Z10 operating system further demonstrates the importance of apps to the future of mobile technology. With respect to public company communications, it validates why companies should consider a Native IR App solution rather than one based on HTML5 technology.
A debate exists over whether to go the Native App or HTML5 route. The simplest point of differentiation between the two is that Native Apps can exist in the app stores of the well-known technology behemoths: Apple’s App Store, the Google Play Market, Microsoft’s Windows Store and Blackberry World. HTML5 apps are essentially websites optimized for mobile devices that cannot exist in these stores or markets. (Click here for my whitepaper on the difference between Native Apps and HTML5.)
I am a gambling man, but I am not one to bet against Apple, Google or Microsoft. While the jury is still out on Blackberry, the launch of its Z10 operating system confirms the importance of native apps to the future of business being conducted via mobile technology as well as to communications. In its launch presentation, Blackberry made a point of highlighting what the Z10 means to its app market – the Blackberry World. Apple’s App Store has almost 800,000 apps; the Google Play Market expects to have more than 1 million apps by June; and Microsoft’s Windows Store more than doubled its catalog of apps to 150,000 in 2012. Blackberry World plans to have 70,000 apps as the Z10 becomes commercially available in the coming months and expects to expand this number exponentially. The common theme among Apple, Google, Microsoft and Blackberry is that all of the app stores are comprised of Native apps.
In a recent post on Forbes.com, Aidan Quilligan of Accenture Mobility weighs the benefits of Native Apps versus HTML5 apps. Quilligan indicates that a main point of comparison between the two is one of cost, with HTML5 being more affordable from a development standpoint. This is not necessarily the case with respect to IR apps since turnkey solutions like theIRapp™ exist. However, to the extent Blackberry has only now awoken and attempted to join the ranks of Apple, Google and Microsoft with respect to apps, public companies should think beyond short-term costs and consider the lesson of Blackberry and its Z10 operating system so that they can avoid finding themselves playing catch up in the future.