Rapid evolution in the iPhone app market
Advertising apps are evolving from the early novelties, like the Zippo Lighter app, a virtual lighter on the phone screen that has been downloaded five million times. Sit or Squat, a sponsored app that directs people to nearby public restrooms, opens with an splash page for Charmin bathroom tissue. Utility apps are more common, like the noise-measuring decibel-meter app given out by Hearos, a maker of ear plugs.
Although novelty apps have had the most downloads, research shows, use of them fades quickly. “You play with it a few times, show it off in a bar, then you don’t use it much,” said Raven Zachary, president of Small Society, an app maker in Portland, Ore.