To Revitalize iPhone App Sales, Get T-Mobile And Dana Carvey To Pimp A Copycat Android App


Here’s a quirky story: Israeli iPhone app dev house ApParty released an app back in December 2008 called iFog (iTunes link).

The premise being that the user selects a photo which then has a steam effect superimposed upon it. The steam can be wiped away by running a finger over the screen surface. Blowing on the iPhone microphone fogs the screen back up.

Cute. Simple. And lucrative—it was bought 200,000 times for $0.99 a pop.

As soon as it was released, iFog climbed the iPhone app charts, reaching the number one download spot in most European counties and even made it into the top 20 in the US version of the App Store. Since then—unsurprisingly—sales have flattened to a steady pace of about 250 per week. Until two weeks ago, where out of the blue iFog’s sales surged again and more than doubled.

The two developers behind the app had no clue what the reason for this revitalization could possibly be.

A couple of days ago, the mystery began to finally unravel. A friend of one of the developers who happens to live in Miami asked whether it was possible that she saw iFog on TV. Fat chance seeing as ‘Television Ads’ isn’t on any line in the company’s P&L. The friend was able to recall though that she saw the app in a new T-Mobile myTouch commercial (embedded below). Lo and behold, none other than Dana Carvey is seen with the same exact app, except it actually happens to be a knock-off made for Android.

The ApParty guys added two and two together and realized that there was a spillover effect from the commercial, where iPhone owners that saw it rushed over to the App Store and found iFog.

Go figure, huh?


The T-Mobile commercial featuring Dana Carvey: