Most expensive mobile purchase ever made: $300,000

Discussion was centered on the trends and challenges in mobile development at Digital Alberta’s Mobile Innovation Showcase on Tuesday.

Tablets are the favorite trend agreed panelists from Poynt, WMode, Mediumrare, and Kryos, with excitement about the possibilities that powerful, large form factor devices bring. The smartphone application marketplace has matured significantly, and increasingly compelling tablet offerings are bringing a new wave of opportunity for mobile developers.

Although driving revenue always presents a challenge, monetization has become slightly easier with the increased user familiarity with a paid-app model and in-app purchases. Mediumrare Creative Director, Bryan Maniotakis highlighted this through an example of the largest purchase ever made through a mobile application, a $300,000 diamond purchased through the Mediumrare developed Blue Nile app. This highlights a tremendous user comfort with the mobile application as a platform for purchasing, he said.

Finding talented developers has become a significant stumbling block for startups, where development efforts are impeded by difficulties encountered in forming a team and reaching a critical mass. Poynt Mobile Development Lead Kris Read spoke of the challenges he has faced in finding developers, with Poynt driving various recruitment efforts, such as supporting mobile developer user groups in order to sustain accelerated growth of their business.

Panelists are concerned about fragmentation within mobile platforms. This challenge requires industry-wide attention in order to avoid difficulties such as those currently experienced by the Android ecosystem, with a large number of operating system variants, form factors, and device specs, resulting in frustration from both the end user and developer perspective.

Martin Studzinski is a marketing and communications professional and technology enthusiast. You can follow him on Twitter @martstudz or reach him via email at
What is your biggest challenge as a mobile developer, and how are you overcoming it? Sound off in the comments below!

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