The App Economy Locally and Globally

App economy refers to the range of economic activity revolving around mobile applications such as the sale of apps, ad revenue or public relations generated by free apps, and the hardware devices on which apps are designed to run.

In 2007, no mobile apps existed. By 2011, more than 25 billion apps have been downloaded. Mobile apps created new fortunes for entrepreneurs and changed the way business is done.

Apple Inc. was first to promote App Store in 2008. Android joins in and pursue the app business, making apps accessible on Android phones.

Apps have also shifted the online businesses platforms. Rather than going via Web, people are now accessing through an app on a mobile device. Thus, websites are now including apps to their business model to get most of their revenue.

The growth will be driven by increasing usage of apps as more people own not just one but a few smarphones around the world. In Malaysia, it is estimated that there are about seven million smartphone users and 7.7 million mobile Internet users.

And in recent years, a range of mobile services and locally apps developers have emerged in Malaysia.

With the rapid increase of mobile Internet users and emphasis put into developing the app industry, Malaysia is on its way to maximize the apps business. Let’s check out some of our local mobile apps:


a-1Now known as Grab, it’s a ride-hailing app that started in Malaysia as MyTeksi with a mission to revamp the taxi and transport industry. Adding to its booking-taxi service, it now also offers service like private car-hailing.

Available in Southeast Asia specifically in Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines, there are now over 350 000 drivers and more than 19 million mobile devices across Southeast Asia have downloaded  the Grab app.

The company is said to be valued at US$1.5 billion and is negotiating another round of fundraising which could increase the business value to US$2.3 billion.


a-2Shoppr is a fashion app that finds you items of any style inspired by the outfits of famous trendsetters to the fashionable everyday girl. The app is the easiest way for you to learn how to style and search for the clothes you want to buy all in one place.

Seen as the Tinder of shopping, Shoppr app resembles the Tinder’s swipe-to-discover methodology. Once you have logged in via Facebook, the app uses “a social clustering algorithm” to show you the products you might like based on your page likes and personal details. And from there, it’s all about swiping left if you like it, and right if you don’t.


a-3Without having to leave your home, you can request a doctor via Doctor2U and your doctor will arrive within 60 minutes. Launched by BP Healthcare Group and available on both iOS and Android, the app pairs you with a licensed, professional doctor near you with just a tap of button.

Arriving in under 60 minutes, the doctor will be fully equipped with medical equipment to deliver the highest level of care.

The visiting doctor will diagnose, treat and prescribe required medication at your convenience. You will even receive a follow-up call or a message from your doctor the following day.

It is important to note, however, that Doctor2U isn’t for medical emergencies. If you’re experiencing a medical emergency, dial 999 will be the way to go.