There’s An App Store For That!

by Gaurav Kheterpal on November 11, 2010

Steve Jobs & co. registered the slogan “There’s an App for That” as an Apple Trademark last month. With one new app store cropping up after the other, Apple would have so dearly wished to patent the whole idea behind building online mobile app stores.

FT reports that HTC is reportedly hiring people in order to get ready for a possible launch of its own online store. Acer says that it will launch an app store next year. Though Intel’s Atom app store has been around for a while now, it is now beginning to make an impact through Dixons and Croma partner stores. Amazon and Adobe are gearing up to join the app store bandwagon next year as well.

While more app stores roughly equates to “more choices” to customers, I’ve serious doubts if there’s enough room for all these players to survive (and flourish!) in the app store rat-race.

The FT report makes me believe that HTC is resorting to an online app store as a desperate measure to tackle the “increasing pressure on device manufacturers to differentiate themselves through content and internet services, as competition heats up in the fast-growing smartphone sector”. With the phenomenal success of Android Market and the growing emergence of Windows Phone Marketplace, does HTC really need an app store of its own? Would the HTC app store be able to co-exist along with Android Market and Windows Phone Marketplace? I have my apprehensions about it .

Other smartphone and tablet manufacturers as well as telecom operators are providing similar reasoning to justify why they need an app store of their own. While I understand and appreciate the need for each player to differentiate themselves using applications and services, do they really need to copy the Apple app store model? We might soon have a dozen app store and each of them achieving moderate success, but where’ the innovation? Apple started it and others (with all due respect, Google included in that list to a certain extent) are simply copying it.

It’s easy to summarize the evolution of online app stores in a couple of sentences.

“Once upon a time there was a company called Apple and the “App Store”. Now, we still have the company called Apple and we have to call it the Apple App Store because there are hundreds of others App Stores

Earlier in March this year, I did a story on the GetJar report which predicts that the Mobile App Industry would be worth a whopping $17.5 Billion by next year. Therefore, it’s little surprising that everybody ranging from OEMs, wireless carriers and third-parties are lining up to grab a piece of the pie.

I have no doubts that Apple will continue to reap the benefits of its first-mover advantage in the app store race. It was several years ahead of its competition when it launched the App Store and despite the presence of a plethora of recently-launched app stores, it still doesn’t have a serious competitor apart from Android Market. Apple recently relaxed the developer restrictions, a move that will help increase the head count on its App Store to keep up with the scorching growth of Android Market. As for the lack of Flash criticism, there are plenty of lessons for Jobs & co. to be learned from the recent Skyfire launch. Need I say more on that?

Do you think that these newly launched device, operator, retailer or third-party app stores will survive amongst fierce competition from Apple App Store & Android Market? Is the slogan “There’s an App Store for that” the only success mantra for the mobile apps industry? Think about it and share your opinion by leaving a comment below this post.

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Written by: Gaurav Kheterpal. www.digitcom.ca >. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com > by: RSS>, Twitter >, Identi.ca >, or Friendfeed >

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