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First virtual world for iPhone in the pipeline

Recent research from Pinch Media highlighted the short lifespan of current iPhone applications, but a one year old Tokyo-startup called Genkii is harnessing the iPhone’s global interconnectivity potential and making headway towards releasing the first ever virtual world for the device.

TechCrunch today reported  on Genkii’s Sparkle 3D, the first ever virtual world to be developed for the iPhone. It’s amazing that this hasn’t been done already, but as TechCrunch’s Serkan Toto points out, many developers haven’t made the most of the iPhone’s massive networking potential.

According  to his colleague Michael Arrington, “Without a compelling existing brand or a really innovative product with protectable intellectual property (some of the games fall into this category), the only chance these apps have for long term success is to start thinking about ways to have users interact with each other in order to build network value.”

Sparkle 3D will comprise many of the components expected of a virtual world including customizable avatars, virtual goods and that all-important social networking aspect.

So, could Sparkle 3D be the app that will make developers finally prick up their ears and acknowledge the networking potential of the iPhone in their future offerings?

While Sparkle 3D has yet to be released, Genkii have in the meantime launched Sparkle IM  . The instant messaging app allows iPhone/iPod Touch users communicate, via their accounts, with Second Life and OpenSim friends and contacts.

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