More immense Apple App Store numbers

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The App Store is an accident of history. (But one that was predicted on here). Apple had been making MP3 tracks available for a few years on the iStore. When they added a bit more memory and processing power to the iPod they realised that it could run third party applications, so they made an iStore for applications. And amazingly they were only doing it as a service to users, they didn’t see the business potential.

Now after a little over a year there are over 100,000 Apps and there have been over 2 billion downloads. 125,000 developers have signed up with Apple and 19.6% of Apps are games. All this has brought up some very pertinent points.

Apple realise that they have a business model that is a license to print money. So it is pretty obvious that they will use it as a template. Firstly for their imminent tablet device which will be like a cross between a netbook and an iPhone. Then with their home console which will evolve from Apple TV just as the iPhone evolved from the iPod.

4 comments ↓

#1 AC on 11.05.09 at 11:24 am

These stores have come about at a good time and they are very busy. I have used Macs both for personal, academic and business use since the Mac Classic came into existence, only choosing to abandon them for the time period when the company unwisely decided to fire its creator, Steve Jobs. During that time I was introduced to the joys of Microsoft but ironically did most of my work on humble solid-state machines like the Amstrad and Psion rather than use such an unintuitive system.

The advent of Apple stores means that I can now arrange for my friends and staff to obtain a computer where their frustrations can finally end. The new large screen iMac is a tasty product. While I think stores have a limited life, many people remain quite unaware of what it is like to use a Mac. In this respect the Apple stores allow people to test drive these machine for themselves. From my experience Apple stores are quite capable of assisting a person to find the right type of Mac for their purpose.

It is also encouraging to see a number of operating systems coming into play to challenge Microsoft. I do however use Microsoft products where the Mac supports them, and also prefer the Xbox as a consul based games system.

In today’s age there is room for many companies to find their respective markets. The Mac was not originally known as a games machine, but it does perform equal well on MMOs that offer it as a platform. While the larger games companies are now slowly opening up their products to Mac, those that fail to do so at entry level are likely to regret their decision.

I look forward to seeing what the Mac tablet device will be like. In fairness a few Mac products are not well received because they lack good functionality, like the old mouse, this is why all users need to evaluate every product they choose to acquire in an intelligent manner. The new Apple Magic Mouse however is totally fantastic. If the Mac tablet uses this technology they are likely to have an outstanding product. But we will have to wait and see.

AC

#2 somerandomnerd on 11.05.09 at 12:24 pm

“And amazingly they were only doing it as a service to users, they didn’t see the business potential.”

Really? The impression I got from the announcement and very strong messaging that Apple were trying their hardest to make it as easy as possible for developers to build and sell applications gave me the opposite impression.

Remember that Apple don’t make a signficant amount of money from selling music through iTunes (or software for the Mac, come to that.) They make money by selling hardware, and the software helps them to sell it. When an iPod user came to upgrading their MP3 player, their iTunes library gives them a very good reason to buy another iPod- whether that’s a library of ripped CDs that they would have to move to a different media player, or a library of paid for music locked in with Apple’s DRM. (Although the DRM is now gone, the lock-in that comes with a library of organized, categorized and rated tracks and playlists is still a strong reason not to move platforms.)

In the same way, when your average iPhone user is looking to upgrade their phone when their contract runs out, those couple of dozen applications that they have bought will be a very good reason to upgrade to a new iPhone- whether they have paid for them or not. (Even if they are free, it takes time to even find out whether a free alternative exists on another smartphone platform.)

How many Xbox owners moved to a 360 because of the backwards compatibility with their existing games library? How many PS2 owners chose not to buy a PS3 when they killed backwards compatibility? And how many PC users will never switch to Macs because of the complications in getting their games running in a virtual machine/dual boot setup?

#3 Dudley on 11.07.09 at 7:11 pm

Little correction, Apple have never sold an mp3. They use a different format, a distinction as relevent if you have the majority of other mp3 players as saying Microsoft have “Sold a lot of Playstation games”.

#4 Walker on 11.09.09 at 10:08 pm

Only if the apps were as good on there, id say 1/100th of them are worth playing and 1/10th of the remaining are worth the price.
100,000 Apps and 125,000 developers, lol, more apps than developers. I signed up as a “developer” once just to check something on the developers site, i have no idea how to develop an app, i dont even know HTML :)

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