The mobile application market consumption continues to strengthen. According to recent statistics, 2.6 billion applications were downloaded from the two main stores, Apple and Android, in October 2011 and, by December this year, the prediction is 3 billion downloads per month. The revolution continues across all major mobile milestones, including the number of apps currently available. Apples represent more than 500,000 with Android quickly closing the gap at 350,000.

For companies already in the digital medium and those on the sidelines, this insatiable appetite brings many opportunities. With analysts and experts anticipating continued demand for smartphones and tablets, the digital medium represents a new frontier for monetizing and fostering customer relationships. At the same time, the hectic rush to enter the mobile app market brings challenges. While the pace of downloads is surprising, the number of apps removed from smartphones and tablets is even more surprising. Yes, retention after the first month of use can be daunting for many apps, but for those that survive, customer engagement skyrockets.

So what is the difference between held and discarded apps? Simply put, quality matters.

The first half of the quality equation is content. Digital content must be meaningful and useful to meet the high expectations of expert app users or they will move on. If the app’s information is poorly conveyed or fails to deliver on its promise to deliver information easier and more engagingly than can be found elsewhere, the app has little chance of survival.

The other half of the equation is the technology used to create, implement, and support mobile app development. In this dynamic vertical, technology must be truly tried and tested. Unlike website building, mobile app technology must speak multiple cable languages ​​simultaneously and operate on four different operating platforms. Compare that to development on the global web, where there is a universal language on one platform. Another key component is that technology must have the ability to evolve as new features and functionality are constantly being developed. Additionally, there is a requirement for future testing as there is a significant hardware and / or operating system change in the smartphone and tablet market every 90 days. Here’s another way of looking at it. The upshot of using the wrong technology is that despite the quality and engaging content that is included in the mobile app, if it breaks once or malfunctions, it will be discarded.

The mobile app vertical is still in its infancy, so finding the right formula to become an important part of the end-user experience is part of the journey. Fortunately, there are some who have mastered the formula already, and due to ever-increasing competition, quality applications will eventually become the norm.