Sunday, June 27, 2010

Entelligence: App stores are not enough


Entelligence is a column by technology strategist and author Michael Gartenberg, a man whose desire for a delicious cup of coffee and a quality New York bagel is dwarfed only by his passion for tech. In these articles, he'll explore where our industry is and where it's going -- on both micro and macro levels -- with the unique wit and insight only he can provide.

A little over two years ago, Apple changed the face of mobile computing when it launched the App Store and broke down the barriers between app developers and end users. There was no longer a need for users to go to a third-party web site, hand over a credit card, download an app to their computer, and sync it to their device. The App Store's integration with iTunes made it easy for the consumer to purchase apps, and purchase apps they did. But while Apple now commands a major lead in the sheer number of apps for the iOS platform, it's far from game over in the mobile market, and other competitors can catch up. But it's going to take more than just an app store for other platforms to level the playing field -- that's just the table stakes now. Here's what mobile platform providers need to compete effectively.

First, the devices must stand on their own. Before Apple introduced the iPhone OS SDK, the developer program and the App Store, the company sold more than a million iPhones and iPod touches. That is, it had captured a large enough market for developers to notice before third-party apps were brought into the equation. Handset vendors and platform providers must have devices that are compelling to consumers out of the box, with features and form factors that attract buyers independently. Seeding a market with quality devices is one way to capture the attention of developers who will all want to be part of a platform with room to grow.

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Entelligence: App stores are not enough originally appeared on Engadget on Sun, 27 Jun 2010 20:00:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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