IPhone applications are rapidly becoming big business, with companies making some fast and easy money from having a good idea and then selling it through the iPhone App Store. But there’s another trend emerging, with companies giving away free iPhone apps which are purely for advertising products. And as is usually the case, Hollywood has been quick to react.
Apple introduced the new App Store alongside the iPhone 3G in July, and it’s been a huge success so far. The Store enables iPhone and iPod Touch users to download applications for their device, with both free and paid-for apps available. The App Store saw 100 million downloads in just its first 60 days of operation.
Some of the free applications are actually very good and useful to boot. We’ve previously listed the top 40 free iPhone apps here on iPhoneTouch. But some are less useful, instead being developed by companies in order to promote a particular brand or product.
As is the case with iPint, an application from Carling that allows the iPhone to mimic a pint of lager. The maker of iBeer, a very similar product that cost $3 compared to the free iPint wasn’t too happy and is currently suing Molson Coors for damages.
And now Hollywood has jumped on the bandwagon and realized the meme potential of iPhone apps. To coincide with the American release of Quantum of Solace, the new James Bond film, the studio has released a free QoS app which sees Bond visit your iPhone.
GigaOM likes the app, praising it for being more than just a Bond micro-site. The app allows you to watch trailers and behind-the-scenes footage of the film, read a synopsis, and buy the Quantum of Solace theme tune by Jack White and Alicia Keys from iTunes. So not very exciting but it’s free so unlike VentureBeat you shouldn’t really complain.
Having said that, this is clearly just the start of what could become a very popular trend, with movie studios releasing more involved and more exciting iPhone apps to promote the release of their films in the years to come. And even if they turn out to be disappointing, it doesn’t really matter as they’ll all be free anyway. Everyone’s a winner.