The app store concept is amazing for rolling out apps to end users and Apple did a masterful job at it with its Appstore. Not surprisingly many other platforms decided to go the Appstore way and are doing pretty well themselves. With all major platforms deciding to go the app store way, if you’re a mobile app developer or even a user, a lot depends on the quality and quantity of apps available on these app stores. As we see now, a device is only as good as the apps that run on it, the importance of the app ecosystem.
For app developers, a clear overview of the app store scene is essential to choose the right platform to concentrate on ( even though i believe that its absolutely necessary for app developers to support multiple platforms, better business sense).
For users, we don’t want to be stuck on a platform that developers don’t like, I mean who doesn’t want awesome apps. And switching from one platform to another can be a pain, add to that the unavailability of your favorite apps on your new platform ( by this i mean if an user were to switch from an iOS based device to an Android or BlackBerry or WP7 etc.).
A recent report by Distimo reveals some interesting aspects about the current app stores scenario and makes some pretty daring predictions too. Here’s our take on the report and what you should take away from it.
Current scenario of the app stores:
Apple is still king of the hill when it comes to number of applications available. It boasts the most number of apps for both form factors, smartphones and tablets alike. The total number of iOS applications now equals 367,334. A year after the launch of the iPad, the iPad Appstore has almost 75,000 apps.
Google’s Android is second in the on going race to the top and building on its phenomenal, almost unbelievable rise. The force is strong with this one, and growing it seems. The Android market now has more free apps than the iPhone Appstore. A strange stat indeed, to add to that are the numbers, Android market has almost 10,000 more free apps than the iPhone Appstore. The number of paid apps however is less than one third the number of paid apps when compared to the iPhone. Android is the only platform that has more free apps compared to paid apps.
Windows Phone 7 (WP7), is the other notable player to see a strong growth patter. It grew at 38% in March 2011 and is expected to maintain a strong growth rate throughout the year. Expecting the WP marketplace to grow at this rate throughout the year is rather unrealistic, but consider a simlar trend for the next few months and astounding new stats arise.
The future of app stores:
The future of app stores depends on a number of factors including developer interest, user adoption and constant innovation on platforms that they are made for. That does not mean we can’t make predictions on its future right away. Although all predictions are purely based on growth rate numbers in the past 3 months and do not take other factors into consideration, a quick look at the growth trends reveals a picture that will surely make app developers sit up and take notice of all the platforms out there.
If the current rate of growth is maintained by all app stores, Google’s Android market will be just 40,000 apps short of Apple’s Appstore by the end of June 2011.
The Blackberry App World is set to double in number in the next six months and be bigger than Nokia’s Ovi store.
Windows Phone 7 marketplace , launched in October 2011 will have more apps than Nokia’s Ovi store and Blackberry App World even before it completes one full year, a strong start.
What is your take? Do you think this game will pan out differently in the next six months? Drop in a line and let us know.