Photo - (From left) Datuk Badlisham Ghazali (Chief Executive Officer of MDeC), Gary Chan (Head of Marketing, Nokia Pan Asia), Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek (Minister of Communication and Multimedia), and Dato' Mohamed Sharil Mohamed Tarmizi (Chairman of the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission) trying a demo of the apps by the developers.
Malaysian national ICT agency Multimedia Development Corporation [MDeC] through its MSC Malaysia ICON (Integrated Content Development) programme and Nokia held the inaugural graduation ceremony, which included 138 developers with 132 local mobile apps for the Windows Phone 8 platform.
During the ceremony, Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek, Communication and Multimedia minister, said: "The partnership between ICON and Nokia builds an ecosystem that encourages integration and monetisation, creates awareness and facilitates efficient distribution within the local and global industry networks."
"Our developers are given a fighting chance by expanding their ideas whilst minimising the risks involved in developing an app-based business, including the high costs of developing the app and starting a business venture," said Shabery. "The global app economy is projected to grow to US$143 billion in 2016 and this platform is perfect for our developers to leverage on and grab more than just a piece of the pie."
"The ICON platform continues to play a key role in turning Malaysia into a content creator nation," said MDeC chief executive officer, Datuk Badlisham Ghazali. "Today's graduation ceremony shows that our local developers, who have created 132 apps through this platform, have broadened the scope of apps that are developed in line with Malaysia's aspirations of moving towards a high-income, knowledge-based and innovation-driven economy."
"This partnership has allowed these developers to place greater emphasis on the quality of the content and applications," said Badlisham. "This is in line with MSC Malaysia's long-term strategy of honing local talents to create practical and creative solutions that appeal to the global market at large."
The top 10 outstanding ICON developers out of the 138 will be selected to be prominently featured in Malaysia across advertising materials, retail channels, events and roadshows. The chosen developers will also get access to the latest Nokia devices to test and develop their applications.
Increasing desire for Windows Phone apps
Nokia Pan Asia's head of marketing, Gary Chan, said, "As the Windows Phone ecosystem gains momentum, there is a greater desire for apps on the Windows Phone store."
"In the last half of 2013 alone, the Windows Phone Store saw a 62 percent increase in downloaded apps, and we are now growing and adding 500 apps each day," said Chan.
"Our association with ICON will help us complement this demand by enabling Malaysian developers to build and sustain a profitable app business on Lumia and the Windows Phone platform," he said.
Through the partnership, ICON developers were given exclusive customised training and community support, the opportunity to build their knowledge base as well as enhance their technical expertise for the Windows Phone 8 platform. Developers were also given a chance to partake in a quick-start programme that provides the necessary tools and services known as the Nokia Premium Developer Program (NPDP).
An MDeC statement added that both the ICON and ICON2 programmes "have upskilled and coached 448 Malaysians to create 464 mobile apps, 178 of which are on the Windows Phone platform. Cumulatively, the ICON programmes have generated RM440,400 [US$135,383] in revenues. App developers from these two programmes have gone on to win nine local and international awards such as the Asean ICT Awards 2012, the Hong Kong Mobile Appsaniry Awards 2012 and the MSC Malaysia APICTA Awards 2012."
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