From time to time the question always comes up in domaining, "Are all the good domains already registered?"
My personal answer to that is No, if you do enough searches you can always find a term or word in some extension that has some potential, where you or someone else could take that domain and turn it into a useful site. If you're lucky, it might even come with a little traffic right away.
One specific area where hand regging still has potential is when new markets or terms are created, especially popular ones. I believe Apps are one of those new terms where you can still dig up a good unregistered domain. I don't own a smartphone or webphone, and have never used a phone app, but if you've watched tv and ads the last month or two, you can't help but notice the increase in space devoted to Apps.
Phone apps (short for applications) are little programs you can add to your phone that show you sports scores, film times in your area, play games, organize your life, and so on. Like it says in the commercial, if you have a need, 'there's an App for that'. Apple, Blackberry, and other phone makers have created App stores where you can browse the different apps and download them to your phone for a small cost. Some apps are even free. The number of apps seems to be growing exponentially, and with smartphone use predicted to have huge growth, it's a market that can't be ignored. Five years ago it was a market that pretty much didn't exist, now it's in the hundreds of millions, or even billions of dollars!
Since last month I've begun to search for different types of terms to register as domains. Doing a search in Google keywords, most of the highest searches for apps include trademark terms like App Store, iPhone apps, blackberry apps, palm apps, and so on. These I'd stay away from. Safer terms would be phone apps, or smartphone apps.
Next I checked terms like free apps, best apps, new apps, top apps, top 10 apps, etc. These are taken in .com and many other extensions, and even into country codes.
Another idea I had was to search for categories of apps that might be popular, like game apps, music apps, horoscope apps, fishing apps, travel apps, car apps, and so on. Pretty much take any top keyword and put apps after it, and you can see some potential.
Brandable apps domains? How about App world, App web, App net, App shop, AppZilla, Appster, and so on. Again all taken in .com.
Yet another thing you can try (and I did) is to search for app terms in other languages, like Spanish, French, and German. Here I had more luck and was able to get what would be top terms in english - but in different languages.
All in all how did my search go? I probably registered under 20 domains, so not a huge investment. It was split between english and other languages, with .com and country codes. I didn't register any .net's .org's .info's or .mobi's. I am checking to see if they get any traffic now, so don't want to list the names. I may do so in a follow up post after I see how this goes.
What do I see for the future of Apps? I see them being similar to games, eventually almost everyone will have a smartphone, and the number of apps will continue to grow, and the apps themselves will continually evolve. There will always be a new app to get, and more hot apps. More app stores will be created, not just run by the phone makers themselves. Companies will specialize in certain types of apps, and having good descriptive domains will help people find them.
I think Google keywords searches for apps terms will increase every month, and the top terms will get registered in more extensions over time.
So how about you?
Did you register any good apps domains? Do you get traffic to your apps domains? What do you see as the future for phone apps?