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iPhone apps boom, opportunities for Waikatolink

Media Release

iPhone apps boom creates opportunities for WaikatoLink

Hamilton, New Zealand, 4 May 2009 – The Apple App Store is leading the application-download trend and WaikatoLink is sharing in that success with 150,000 downloads of their iPhone applications to date. The enormous success of the Apple iPhone has seen the number of contributions by individual developers boost the App Store’s offerings to more than 25,000 applications. WaikatoLink, the commercial arm of the University of Waikato, have launched five applications in recent months including an airplane simulator, vehicle performance accelerometer, and a snow globe.

WaikatoLink Chief Executive Mark Stuart says, “We were one of the first in New Zealand to become official iPhone developers. The App Store has provided a great opportunity to leverage the skills of our developers. All mobile devices are getting smarter and people are willing to pay to do more with their phone than just talk. And it’s not just about the iPhone. Centralised online stores allow developers to get applications onto devices quickly. The path from development to customer has been radically changed with this new model.”

WaikatoLink Technology Development Manager Bram Smith says, “Developing our own portfolio of applications has been invaluable not only from a technical perspective, but also in terms of the insights we’ve gained into what makes an application successful. The most popular applications are often those that are simple, quirky and fun.”

The Red Baron, the most popular WaikatoLink application with 10,000 downloads a week, uses the iPhone accelerometer to simulate the sound of a World War 1 biplane complete with machine guns and bombs. Red Baron reacts to hand movements and the direction and speed of the hand movement translates to the sound of a plane diving or climbing or with its engine under load.

PowerCurve, another popular application, also uses the iPhone accelerometer combined with other vehicle measurements to allow a vehicle’s performance – speed, power, acceleration and torque - to be calculated and graphed so users can compare trips and assess vehicle performance. Other applications include: Frosty which turns the iPhone into a snow globe and allows users to build their own snow man and add pictures; Mouse Trap where users attempt to steal cheese from a loaded mouse trap; and Diamond Mine where users trace a path through a series of dark mazes using a light to find hidden diamonds.

“Bram Smith says, “We have several more iPhone applications in the pipeline. We’re also keen to talk to companies that have an idea they want developed - whether it’s a game, a business tool or part of their brand marketing strategy.”

“We can develop applications for the iPhone from scratch or we can translate applications from other platforms such as PC, PlayStation or Xbox. We’re also looking to the future and developing expertise across other mobile device platforms.”

The Apple App Store site has had more than 800 million downloads since its launch eight months ago. Other mobile device providers are looking to emulate the success of the Apple App Store model which provides a centralised place for the distribution and sale of applications. Nokia has announced that their Ovi store is due to open in May 2009; Microsoft have announced that their Windows® Marketplace for Mobile will launch in the last quarter of 2009; while Research in Motion opened their BlackBerry App World store on April 1st this year.

For a full list of WaikatoLink iPhone applications visit


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