This last week the Android™ Market hit a major milestone; it can now tout it has 100,000 Apps and counting. This is a major increase and achievement in comparison to its app numbers at the beginning of the year. According to Google’s™ Android chief Andy Rubin – this indicates that Android is becoming increasingly attractive to app developers, which should mean that users have more choices. Does that mean every app on the Android Market is a success or a good app? No probably not.? But none of the stores can boast that, no matter what their numbers are. It does mean that there is more opportunity for developers and more competition for app creators. Speaking of competition, the Apple® App Store is at about 300,000 total apps and the new Windows® Marketplace for Windows Phone 7 is at 1,000 apps and the phone hasn’t even been released in the US yet. Other platforms are not the only competition the Android Market is facing; it will soon face other Android markets/stores.
Competition coming to the Android Market
There have been reports in the past month that both Verizon Wireless and Amazon® plan on releasing their own Android app stores by year-end. Verizon Wireless is reported to be opening a V Cast Android Store by the end of the year and is currently taking submissions. The store would be similar to its other V Cast offerings and would directly compete with the current Android Market. Greg Haller, VP of Consumer Solutions for Verizon Wireless, stated that “the V Cast App store will offer more choices and simplicity to the app purchase process, namely because it has direct carrier billing and a curated model, two things currently missing from the Android Market.” The store will have a more stringent acceptance policy then the Android Market and Verizon hope this will increase the quality of their store in comparison. The new store would give Verizon Android owners another option for purchasing apps and give the Android Market a run for its money with Verizon Wireless customers. Amazon is also looking to do the same thing and open its own Android store by year end. One interesting feature of Amazon’s store is that it will include digital rights management so that the store only runs on devices approved by Amazon and like Apple® will charge an annual registration for fee for app developers. Amazon is hoping that developers and creators will gravitate to the store because of its brand name and customer reach.
Effect on App Developers and App Creators
This means the mobile application development market is becoming even more segmented and app creators need to figure out which marketing channel (or app store) is the most appropriate and profitable for them to be in, or choose to be everywhere. It also means that there is potential to gain even more profit and exposure if they choose to be on multiple app stores. For mobile app developers, it means knowing how to utilize and understand each app store’s requirements and provide the best service possible to your clients by putting them on the stores that fit their business strategy the best. App Developers have the opportunity to become highly specialized in one platform and store(s) or they can choose to be experts in all platforms and stores. We see a competitive advantage in the latter and this is the philosophy we have taken in our business. We strive to give our clients a total mobile solution by helping them with the design, development, store acceptance and app marketing, and we do this on all platforms. This strategy does require us to be on the leading edge of all technology and make sure we can answer the hard questions for our clients. Fortunately this is something we enjoy and are happy to do for our clients.
We are very excited to hear that there are so many people embracing the future of mobile technology and developing apps for each platform and for additional Android stores. We believe this is the new frontier and we will only see more growth in the mobile area in the next few months and years. With new devices, stores, platforms, and operating systems coming out daily who knows where mobile development will go!