Does the App work on Windows and BlackBerry?
The MFA App is acknowledged worldwide as being the best solution for accountants, bookkeepers and other professional service firms. It provides a real opportunity for any firm of any size to differentiate themselves from their competitors.
Occasionally we are asked why the App is not set up to work on Windows or BlackBerry devices. The simple fact is that Apple and Android between them have +90% of the user base and this means it is likely that even if you are a Windows or BlackBerry user, 90% of your clients and target audience will be Apple or Android users. On that basis, the cost of development for Windows/BlackBerry would be prohibitively high. Although Windows initially made increases in market share, it has now fallen sharply and is still far behind the dominance of iOS and Android.
For some loyal Windows Smartphone users, this may present a concern. However, please be assured that we have made enormous investment in the iOS and Android technologies and have received accreditations from the majority of the professional bodies because of our App’s effectiveness and adaptability to market changes. Those firms that have invested in Windows or BlackBerry devices will still be able to gain enormous value by getting their clients/prospects to download the App onto their own devices in order to use the tools and calculators.
This is not simply our opinion, but informed data supported by some of the world’s leading strategists and statisticians. Here is an article to the right from 2014 which provides some wider context. The chart summarises device distribution, which may be helpful when considering what to make available to your clients now and for the future.
Windows Phone: Despite all the effort Microsoft has put into the launch of Windows 10, IDC does not expect Microsoft’s share of the Smartphone OS market to grow much over the coming years. In 2015, IDC expects the average selling price (ASP) of Windows Phones to be $148, which is $71 lower than Android’s ASP of $219. This was brought about by the Microsoft/Nokia push into the low-end mass market. While this approach helped drive shipments up to 34.9 million units in 2014, IDC is forecasting a year-over-year decline of -10.2% in 2015, followed by further decline in 2016. The weak results can largely be attributed to the lack of OEM partner support.
Source: IDC Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, December 2, 2015.
Microsoft’s Smartphone market share by sales has dropped sharply from 3.0% in Quarter 3, 2014, to 1.7% in Quarter 3, 2015. Given that BlackBerry set its stall out for the enterprise market and failed to win in the consumer market – and their market share is now only 0.3% and has seen a greater than 45% drop over the last two years, then it remains to be seen how Windows will fair in the Smartphone market if they too fail to win over consumers in the numbers required.
Should Windows make surprise gains in market share, and therefore the cost of development becomes commercially viable, then we will of course develop for that platform too. However, as you can see from this summary, currently, that would not be a wise consideration.
Of course, we would love you to proceed with your App in order to get the same value that so many other accountants are experiencing with their clients and user base. To help illustrate this, here is just a small sample of the feedback from ‘end-users’ (clients of firms whose Apps are already live) who’ve even taken the time to write their comments in the iOS App store.
Having your own App is now as much about your firm’s future as it is about the technological opportunity. With Cloud bookkeeping companies (excellent as they are) overtly wanting to have direct relationships with the end-users (your clients), and even HMRC now wanting everyone to use a digital tax account and deal with them directly through ‘digital devices’, then it is essential for firms to remain in control and the simplest way to do this is by having your own App. That way, this extraordinary technology we’ve all adopted and rely on so heavily will work in your favour by creating a long-lasting bond between you and your clients and prospects, rather than allowing independent suppliers and organisations to hijack them!