Commentary

App Fans To Starbucks: Wake-Up And Smell The Coffee

Starbucks app/Coffee FinderStarbucks and the iPhone seem like a natural pairing, like espresso and biscotti, but so far the ubiquitous coffee chain has yet to release its own iPhone app. It's not like Apple and Starbucks haven't collaborated before. Two years ago they partnered on an initiative that let people access and buy music played in Starbucks stores via the WiFi-enable iPod touch.

But the lack of a home-brewed Starbucks app hasn't stopped developers from trying to fill the void. A bunch of free apps have emerged that claim to be Starbucks location finders with names like Find A Starbucks, My Starbucks, Go Grande, and Bucks Me. Among the latest is an upgraded version of Coffee Finder, created by IntuApps, the mobile brand of New York-based technology firm Intuwin.

The app boasts "worldwide accurate listings of all Starbucks locations" as well as information on each location's services and the ability to check a Starbucks card balance and view transaction history. While Intuwin didn't partner directly with Starbucks on the app, the company's founder Lilly Gold says the coffee giant provided access to its location database so its listings would accurate.

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The Starbucks faithful are thirsting for the genuine article, though. In response to a recent post on the Starbucks Gossip blog asking why the company hadn't launched its own iPhone app, one fan suggested a number of features it might have including storing favorite drinks and the ability to order from the phone. "Starbucks is missing a major opportunity here -- not only for marketing purposes, but also for future innovation," warned the commenter.

Gold says Starbucks has its own app in the works. But it may not have time to blend the perfect download. Arch rival Dunkin' Donuts released its own Dunkin' Run app June 19 for placing group orders via the iPhone. The chase is on.

1 comment about "App Fans To Starbucks: Wake-Up And Smell The Coffee".
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  1. David Thurman from Aussie Rescue of Illinois, July 1, 2009 at 8:15 a.m.

    iPhone apps, nice. I am really thinking of boycotting companies that don't get it. Blackberry in the US is the main seller, with WinMo seems forgotten about (it is in almost every HTC ph), even though it is a larger share then Android based phones. Gotta love marketing and the complete bandwagon frenzy they embrace.

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