Mobile Applications Finally Gaining Ground in Russia

Mobile applications in Russia and across the former Soviet Union have lagged behind in development and popularity when compared to others parts of the world that are more readily and enthusiastically welcoming the dawn of the mobile era. But that may be changing, according to a new report from the Moscow Times.

Russian software makers and business people are beginning to recognize the important role of mobile applications for the new generation of smartphones.

“On the Russian market, which simply ‘exploded’ after the start of official iPad sales,” says Alexander Zveryev, general director of business software maker e-Legion, “more and more companies are looking at mobile applications as a new medium for managing loyalty, a space for advertising, a way of digitizing business processes and so on.”

Russia, without question, is poised to benefit from the boom in mobile applications that is transpiring across the globe. In 2010, for example, roughly 8 billion applications were downloaded around the world. That figure is expected to surge 20-fold by 2015.

“The mobile applications market is one of the fastest growing in the world,” Zveryev added. “There are already more smartphones in the world than personal computers. For the most part, this is thanks to Apple — they worked out how to get around the problem of piracy and how to give small companies the chance to make money by creating mobile applications.”

Helping lead the charge for mobile’s advancement in Russia is Microsoft, which has worked diligently to push its latest products on the Russian market.

“Already existing applications — e-mail, calendar, address book and mobile Office — will be developed to meet the specific demands of the corporate market, including improved integration with SharePoint and Office 365,” said Vladimir Kolesnikov, a software development expert for Microsoft Russia’s strategic technologies department.

Last year, the estimated total number of smartphone and tablet users in Russia was 6 million. If present growth continues, that number, some analysts estimate, could reach 18 million by the end of 2011.