Friday, July 10, 2009

iPhone App Store Turns One And Creates Ecosystem

Like some proud uncle, CNet proclaimed to the work today that the iTunes App store has turned one.  Congratulations to Apple in their implementation.

It had its dramas.  Since I'm not a parent, I'm not able to use analogies fitting of a developing potential.  I detest diapers.  

I'm guessing there are closer to 1.2 to 1.5 billion downloads by now aided by the number of 3GS sold and about 60K apps.  That was the easy part.  

It was the confusing and at times frustrating approval process for developers that has given bloggers a field day.  Editorials and reports across the spectrum of media demanded answer for developers like the Podcaster app who suffered at the draconian hands of Apple.  

Then are are issues like whether porn or certain materials that might cause one to blush should be in the app store.  Those arguing for such inclusions point out that the iPhone and iPod Touch provides parental control so it would not be an issue.  Still With Apple CEO Steve Jobs closely related to Disney, a family-oriented entertainment company, it would not be an easy thing to do without criticisms.

Over all, the app store has changed the dynamics of the mobile landscape.  So much so that other hardware makers and wireless providers are all scrambling to create their own versions of the iTunes app store.  Blackberry stands at 2K while Android Marketplace has about 5K.  Pre has a few dozen but that should increase dramatically later this year when the SDK is finally out.  

But that brings to mind a slogan from a pop radio station in LA.  "Often imitated but never duplicated".  For competitors, there is a lot they can learn from Apple that they did right and much about what they did wrong.  For Apple, my feeling that the success of the app store is only the beginning but there are additional steps that they must take to account for thousands of apps that are being lost in the numbers.

Over all, things look good for mobile warriors.  And for developers as well.  This has created an ecosystem of hardware, software, and wireless Internet that is ripe for more innovations as competition heats up.  

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