The Virtual Zippo Lighter, an iPhone and iPod application that mimics a working lighter including flame, today announced users can now buy branded virtual lighter skins. The announcement marks the first time the company has attempted to monetize a user base of over 10 million through a in-app virtual store.
The in-app purchase opportunity gives users the ability to place a branded image on the Zippo lighter, including including Bob Marley, Harley Davidson, Vans, The Who, Ozzy Ozbourne, Def Leopard, Kiss, and Playboy. Just like consumers purchase different t-shirts of bands they enjoy, the same situation could be applied to specifically branded virtual lighters.
The company says users can use the app for the “Zippo Moment” of holding and swaying a lighter at concerts. It’s a plausible replacement for traditional Zippos or other lighters as it increasingly becomes more difficult to bring anything into a concert these days.
The application, according to Comscore, ranks in the Top 20 iPhone apps of all time, and was created as a partnership between Zippo Manufacturing Company, creator of the original Zippo lighters, and skyrockit, a mobile development firm. Opening the Zippo lighter works through flicking the iPhone or iPod to the side and flicking the virtually flint wheel. The flame flickers just like the real thing.
Additional features are also being announced including more free skins, improved worked on the realistic animation flame, a locking mechanism to keep the lid from closing and a way to inscribe a date on the skin.
Don’t miss MobileBeat 2010, VentureBeat’s conference on the future of mobile. The theme: “The year of the superphone and who will profit.” Now expanded to two days, MobileBeat 2010 will take place on July 12-13 at The Palace Hotel in San Francisco. Early-bird pricing is available until May 15. For complete conference details, or to apply for the MobileBeat Startup Competition, click here.