The Most Expensive of the French App Store

Génération Nouvelles Technologies recently published an article on a study by userAdgents done on the French iPhone App Store. FYI, the study can be requested for free on their website.

A numbers game. 

The study found that in the beginning of February 2010 the French App Store had 76, 976 applications from 23,942 publishers, with an average of 280 apps being added per day. With the average price of an application at €1.35, 74% of applications are less than €1 (with 40% of applications being free) – and the most expensive application apparently costs €719.99 (FYI the article says €799.99, which is incorrect).

I am rich.

€719.99 for an iPhone app? You must be joking. Paying more for an application than the actual phone is just nuts to me. But hey, the app must be pretty damn special.

 One of the first most-expensive applications, called “I am rich”,  used to do nothing more than show off one’s ability to buy an iPhone app for $999.  Apple now sells this application at €0.79 in the French App Store, after some (not rich) users complained to the company when they purchased the application thinking it was a joke.  Whoops.

A not-so-French touch. 

Get this: turns out the most expensive application in the French App Store isn’t even French – it’s the iRa Pro developed by Illinois-based Lextech Labs. What does the almightly expensive application do? It allows you to view multiple live video feeds from cameras directly onto your phone – that’s right, surveillance. I’d love to know how many people there are in France that need to view multiple live video feeds on their cell phones – but hey, maybe somewhere off in the French countryside this is how farmers monitor their cows (while video surveillance is surprisingly big in France, let’s not forget that a majority of government officials are not equipped with iPhones for professional purposes) . The company also sells an (identical) application called the iRa Direct, which is some €300 less expensive (€399.99).  

Foreign invasion.

The 2nd and 3rd most expensive apps aren’t French either – in fact a majority of the expensive applications in the French App Store are foreign. After rummaging through the App Store (which doesn’t let you rank applications by price = very annoying), the most-expensive French-produced iphone app is most likely between €80 and €100 (I’ll have to verify this in a later post – unless someone cares to step forward with the most expensive French-made app).

A little less bling bling.

So if the French price their applications as cheaper than foreigners do in the French App Store, does this also reflect something about their preferences and how they view application pricing? Or are they just gaining momentum?

I Love2Recycle: Cellphone Recycling à la Française

It’s all about being green.

Inc. Magazine published an article last month on San Diego-based ecoATM, a start-up developing kiosk or ATM-like machines where people can deposit their old cellphones for cash. Sounds like a brilliant idea. I remember seeing a company that wanted to do the exact same thing at a Silicon Valley Launch event last year (or maybe it was them).  

Best part: the ATM still gives you cash.

For ecoATM, a used Blackberry or iPhone goes for $50 to $55. They estimate around $12.2 billion worth of used phones are just sitting in people’s drawers, waiting to be cashed-in.

Not so fast.

Why lug your phones around to track down one of these silly machines when you could just slip your phone in the mail? With the machines, there may also be the added possibility of a technical slip leaving you with a little less cash than you bargained for.

2 sites that do the trick: Love2Recycle and MonExTel.

France’s ( is an inititaive put forward by LaPoste and Anovo, buying used phones for up to €250. Users log-on to the site, select the phone they want to turn in, send it and then receive their check in the mail.

Another site that works in a similar fashion is The company behind the site, Recommerce Solutions, buys the phones, which are then repaired by Ateliers du Bocage and resold.

Oh, and of course there is always the Telcos.

Bouygues Telecom, for example, is launching their mobile phone recycling program on January 18. Although mobile phones recycled through their site will go to

Great short term solution?

I think that telephone recycling solutions are terrific in the short term. But wouldn’t it be a little more green if companies encouraged consumers to change consumption habits althogether?

The Sarkophone: Thalès Téorem

Just because Sarah Palin is the only average Joe to get a call from President Sarkozy doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be interested in his mobile device.

Not an iPhone, not a Blackberry.

Recently all the buzz has been around Sarko’s new handset, the Téorem by Thalès.

Sarkozy asked the SGDN (French National Defense) to stop using the Blackberry in 2007, as he feared they could be easily spied on. To my knowledge there was no specific incident that required them to stop using the device. And despite RIM claiming their system to be the most secure encrytion system available, with Blackberry phone servers based in the US and the UK Sarkozy wasn’t about to take any risks.

Rumor also has it that Sarkozy wasn’t the only President worried about Blackberry security; while President Obama continues to be a Blackberry user, it wasn’t without the introduction of additional security measures.

So this new, super-secure Thalès phone has been in the making since 2007 and is to be distributed to some 14,000- 20,000 members of Sarkozy’s entourage. The unitary price hasn’t been released yet but I’m sure Thalès won’t be shy with the bill.

Does this phone look prehistoric to you, too?

While the keypad and screen seem to mimic older phone models rather than the fresh faces of the iPhone and the Blackberry, the main differentiating feature of the phone is it’s impenetrability. The phone is also 2G and 3G compatible, VOIP, ISDN and PSTN enabled. 

Now that Sarkozy has an impenetrable phone, maybe we should get him an impenetrable bank account to match.