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We just heard from three developers of mobile local search apps, who showed simulator demos and talked about the thinking behind their products.

One of their challenges, noted moderator Mike Boland, is breaking through in a “sea of apps.” Boland noted that there are more than 75,000 apps on the iPhone App Store.

Shooger CMO Matt Myers gets props for cleverly taking advantage of the opportunity by cutting an online coupon deal with the Hyatt Regency, a nice tie-in with the conference.

A couple of takeaways:

  • It’s not all about the iPhone. Dannie Francis, CEO of Cellcity, noted that his company, based in Singapore, developed apps for the Nokia platform first, given Nokia’s strong footprint outside the United States.
  • Apps are not about making money — today. As Erron Silverstein, CEO of YellowBot noted, his company developed its app for “brand lift” and to provide a good user experience. He said he is not sure how to monetize an app directly, but for now, direct monetization isn’t really the point. Coupons may be an exception, Silverstein noted, which bodes well for Shooger, which is a coupon play.
  • Apps are not smaller versions of the Web. Effective apps are built for the iPhone, or Android, or whatever platform. Silverstein notes that an app version of an IYP will contain a much smaller set of categories, and they may not be the same top categories as an IYP.

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