Onward Mobility has opened up an offline app store in Mumbai’s Inorbit mall. When we say offline, it is a brick and mortar store where people go to the store physically, give the phone to the store guys and get some apps loaded.
Onward Mobility (OM) has its own set of applications called Mobigames games pack. It has other premium applications like MobiCop, MobiSecret, MobiCopy, MobiDND, MobiRecord and MobiProtect.
Now here are the things which are not yet clear. Which platforms does OM cover? How do they charge for a paid app? Do they charge for free apps also? Is OM selling just its own apps or it would ‘sell’ apps from app stores like Apple’s and Android’s?
If you are wondering who would want to use this offline app store, then join the club.
Who wants it anyway?
Here’s a guess. People who plan on going to Inorbit mall already know how to connect a phone to the computer, look for an app and install it. I’m sure that’s not Onward Mobility’s target audience. The company is collaborating with 10,000 other mobile retail stores which is more like reaching its target audience.
Quite a few mobile stores do this offline app thing already. If you buy a phone from a retail store, they will be friendly enough to load some songs, wallpapers and some apps if your phone takes them. This is something they do it for free. Now will Onward Mobility be charging for this stuff?
Can’t we just tap?
Yet another dimension which Onward Mobility have to consider is the new concept called Tap. If you are seeing Nokia’s new commercial about NFC and tapping, then sharing is almost painless, unless you tap too hard.
With Nokia’s Tap, you can share content (of all kinds, I assume) by just tapping another phone which isn’t hostile. Tapping looks awfully silly but it’s simple and brilliant in its own way. Do you remember sharing via Bluetooth? That sucked didn’t it. Now all Tap needs is incredible speeds for it to be really useful and less awkward. An offline app store will be useless if all the phones can tap with another.
Of course that is a far fetched idea which will take its own time. Until then bring up those offline app stores.
PS : I can almost see Shah Rukh smiling. There might be some collaboration with Onward Mobility to install Ra.One content onto the mobiles, unknowing to the customer.