Would mobile users pay for a new generation of mobile applications? That question was answered in spades by millions of iPhone users who've paid for software via Apple's App Store for the iPhone.
But the majority of the over 500 million downloads at the App Store since its debut last year were for free applications. That creates something of a dilemma for commercial developers, whose programming efforts aren't just a labor of love; can they charge money and be successful competing in a largely free marketplace?
It's a question content providers have faced on the Internet for years and the same outcome could be taking shape on the iPhone; namely the rise of ad-supported alternatives to paid apps.
One such effort is the recently launched iVdopia, an ad network from Vdopia designed for iPhone developers. The idea is that developers publish lower cost or free applications and still realize revenue from ads. But this is tricky on a mobile device where extra screen real estate is virtually non-existent and attention span tends to be much shorter, particularly if the user is on the go.
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