There has been a lot of public chatter over paid vs. free apps. It’s really a misnomer to think that all consumer apps are ‘free.’ While there may not be a charge when you download a mobile application, often there are charges after you start using the app. This is important issue for the enterprise especially when you’re budgeting for mobile and don’t allocate any (or enough) funds for mobile apps being used by the employees.
What clearly is a trend is that downloading the app is trending toward being free with deferral of charges until the user has had some time to use the application. Also, there’s a trend for content owners to provide free mobile access as long as the user has a contract with the provider in some way. A good example would be NBC providing tablet video streaming from the 2012 Olympics from London. But, when the user when to NBC Olympics web site, the system asked the user to verify their cable TV account. Once they account was verified, then access was provided to the video streaming.
Enterprises need to look at the ‘total cost of ownership’ (TCO) in a new light when considering mobile, especially when looking at smartphones and tablets.
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