Swebapps – Geocities of the iPhone?
Aug 18, 2009 | Mobile & Web
Swebapps fills a smart niche in the mobile app arena that we’ve seen previously in the early days of the web. While building a mobile application for the iPhone, Android or Windows Mobile platforms is relatively straightforward it requires specialist skills from a developer to build and is often a costly proposition.
Swebapps has cleverly targetted the small business niche who may not have the capital or know how to create an application for their customers. In much the same way Geocities made it simple for any individual or business to create an online storefront back in the 90’s, Swebapps provides some simple but powerful functionality that can get a business up and running in the iPhone App Store in about 4 weeks for a few hundred dollars.
You design and submit your application using their online interface. First select your industry or type of business. Then select the buttons you would like your app to have such as ‘Product Catalog’, ‘Directions’, ‘Events’, ‘Follow on Twitter’, etc. Essentially common features that one would expect for any small business. Pricing is based upon the number of features or buttons you choose and Swebapps charges a $25 monthly hosting fee as well as upsell services for tracking downloads.
The functionality of the buttons is relatively simple but for many folks this will be all they need. There are limited customization options such as changing color schemes and uploading custom images for buttons and logos but you essentially operate within their framework.
All in all, it’s a pretty good value for a business to get into the mobile space. Possibly starting here and expanding into a more custom application over time. In future iterations it would be great to see some more complex functionality implemented or opening it up to 3rd parties to build buttons and share in the revenue. But I think these folks are onto a good thing and will be interesting to see if they can market to the small business market and build traction.