Price: free Download on the App Store
Other than the App Store, the only other place I have seen more Bibles for sales is my local Christian bookstore! The Bible is by far the best selling book of all time (over 6 billion copies in more than 2000 languages) so at some level perhaps it makes sense that there are over 30 Bible applications available on the App Store ranging from free to a pricey $28.99.
YouVersion's Bible (available for free), however, stands out as a testament to the power of the Word, the growth of the iPhone platform and how sometimes free is much better than paid! YouVerion's app is great, and packs more features and functionality than even the most expensive app in the category. The latest version comes with over 30 translations of the Bible spanning 15 languages. It also includes search and sharing capabilities, daily readings, and user-generated content. Most impressive! YouVersion is currently working on completing offline support (a much requested feature) and adding bookmarking to the application.
YouVersion's Terry Storch was kind enough to share the numbers behind the success of the application. According to Terry, as soon as the team learned of the availability of the iPhone SDK, they began work on the application with the goal of marrying "relevant content with relevant devices". As a result, they were among the first 500 applications available when the App Store launched - the number tell the rest of the story.
As of yesterday afternoon, YouVersion's Bible had 333,055 unique users and was averaging about 3,000 new users a day (see chart - activity in the last 6 weeks) - very impressive numbers on a platform that has only been around for little over two months! More compelling was the total amount of time users spent in the application so far which was a total of 80 years 349 days 5 hours 10 minutes and 31 seconds! (Terry was giving me these numbers in real-time as I spoke with him on the phone).
Here are a couple of key takeaways I would like to share that came to mind after my conversation:
1. The iPhone "Land Grab" is Upon Us!
As new and existing software companies scramble to deliver iPhone versions of the their applications, expect the number of iPhone apps to balloon! As I mentioned in a previous post, time to market is key and "early adopters" will reap the rewards of being first, but just as important as being first is putting out quality product. Companies dedicated to bringing quality products to market quickly have the best chance of success.
2. Price does not Equate Value. Quality Rules!
Even thought its free, YouVersion's Bible stands out from its "competitors" in regards to aesthetics, content quality, features and functionality. Since users cannot "test drive" applications before buying them, be sure to read the reviews and remember that just because an app costs money doesn't mean its the best - the best things in life are sometimes free!
3. The Future is Mobile! Go Mobile!
According to Terry, the folks at YouVersion are big believers in the maxim "the future is mobile!". Indeed it is - and the iPhone platform is proving itself to be the most successful mobile platform to date! We have often heard the phrase "Go big or go home," perhaps the new rallying cry for content providers should be "Go mobile or go home!"