ShopSavvy mobile barcode app hits Windows Phone… a little too late?

ShopSavvy is one of the original and most popular price comparison services that runs on mobile barcodes. Starting on Android, it has since ported to Nokia and iPhone – and yesterday it announced that it will soon be coming to Windows Phone 7, and released some sneak preview shots of how that will look. Unfortunately for ShopSavvy, Windows Phone 7 already has its own version of the service.

What’s ShopSavvy?

It’s an app that hooks up to your phone’s camera, and lets you scan the barcodes you can see on any product in a shop. ShopSavvy then pulls up information from all over the world about how much that product costs elsewhere – including on-line and in other nearby stores. It basically enables you do comprehensive comparison shopping while standing in the aisle.

What’s the story?

ShopSavvy was an immediate hit when it launched on Android, and it has been adding platforms regularly since then. It’s been doing well on iPhone and the Ovi store – but unfortunately for Big In Japan (the company who developed ShopSavvy), Microsoft themselves pipped them to the post on this one. Just over two weeks ago, Microsoft revealed its own service that does comparison shopping through mobile barcodes.

Source: Big In Japan blog

What we think?

Does ShopSavvy have much to fear from the Windows phone version of barcode comparison shopping? I don’t think so. The Windows launch was an update to an already existing app – the Bing for Mobile app. It’s a much smaller part of a larger application, and that app isn’t specifically geared towards barcodes. ShopSavvy, on the other hand, is completely tooled and tweaked to make barcode scanning and comparison as easy as possible – including certain 2d barcode formats that Bing won’t cover. By dint of design, I think ShopSavvy will win out.

On the other hand, we’ve seen this before. During September last year, screenshots of ShopSavvy working on WinMo 6.5 were released – see our report. If comments left on the Big In Japan blog yesterday along the lines of “I thought you guys were working on a Win 6.5 version. Is that still happening?” are to be believed, those screen shots didn’t actually lead to a finished app. So we’ll wait and see.

About Cian O' Sullivan

Ace reporter, Cian, has moved on from GoMo News. He is currently the office manager for Photocall Ireland - Ireland's premier news and PR photography agency. You can check out the site at www.photocallireland.com. If you want to contact him directly about anything, Cian's new email is cian at photocallireland dot com.
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