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Reference No. 15/003N Publication Year 2015
Author(s) Ailie Tang; Kristeen Anne Romero
Company N/A
Industry Software and Services, Internet Software and Services, Application Software, Media, Advertising, Marketing
Geographic setting Worldwide
Functional Area Marketing, Management of Information Systems


This industry note describes the current status of the mobile applications (apps) market with major categories, usages and business models of apps. The note highlights the distinct differences between mobile websites and mobile apps. It also discusses how the salient features of apps are revolutionizing traditional marketing and advertising strategies of branding. In addition, the note considers the dilemma and challenges on security and privacy issues.

Learning Objective

Students will be required to perform an analysis of the concurrent mobile app industry. They will also need to identify the critical success factors behind the profit-making mobile app business. Students will then probe into the security and privacy issues of app usage.

Suggested Questions:

1. Summarize the evolution and the concurrent status of the mobile app industry. 
2. Compare different app usages and app business models in making profits.
3. What are the critical success factors of app business?
4. What are the impact of apps on traditional marketing and advertising?
5. What are the dilemma and challenges on the security and privacy issues of app usage?

This case was fully supported by a grant from the Research Grants Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, China (UGC/IDS12/14).