For mobile app developers, there is one good way to avoid costly ad campaigns and still gain the attention of millions of customers: Persuade handset vendors and wireless carriers to preload the app on their phones.More often than not, developers pay for that privilege, though some say it isn’t worth it.
And as competition among developers intensifies, even preloads may not be enough to win over users. Developers are pushing to get in front of device owners when they boot up the device for the first time, as part of the “set-up flow.”
Striking such deals can take years of legwork. That can include nailing down deals with small phone makers in order to get the big ones, like Samsung Electronics, to notice. Even well-known brands like Yahoo have struggled to get their apps pre-installed on devices.