Apple App Store gets 1.5 Billion Application Downloads; Can Anyone Compete?

Apple is Competing with McDonald's for Most Customers Served
Apple is Competing with McDonald's for Most Customers Served

Apple is on its way to becoming one of, if not the, most dominating cell phone providers on the market. The company is not there yet but they have to be comfortable with the direction they are headed. And if you, the consumer, aren’t convinced that Apple is the innovative leader then just take a look at the mobile applications downloads that the company has inspired.

Happy First Birthday

Fresh off celebrating Apple’s App Store’s 1st birthday, CEO Steve Jobs announced that the store has allowed for 1.5 billion application downloads for the iPod Touch and iPhone. While the people over at Apple have always been rather cocky about what they are doing, there is no doubting that the Apple App Store has set itself apart from anything we have seen before. They have a right to be confident, a right to be cocky, and a right to celebrate the fact that it is going to be hard for any other company to even come close to catching up. The sheer quality and large scale of the store is unlike anything we are likely to see from the competition.

Consumers Popping Up Out of Nowhere

While the App Store got out to a quick start it seems that the customers that are purchasing downloads for applications is increasing all the time. After 9 months in existence Apple announced that there had been 1 billion apps downloaded and now just 3 months later there has been another 500 million. The numbers are clearly being bumped up by new owners of the iPhone 3GS as they enjoy the wide range of 65,000 applications available. To say the least this success is inspiring and will cause competition in the market, but can anyone really compete?

Here Comes the Competition

This past week Verizon announced that they will be heading in the direction of an application store for their phones and RIM, Palm, and Nokia seem to be headed in the same direction. There are also already repositories that sell apps that only function with Android platforms. Now, while there are doubts that other companies will be able to compete with Apple, there is in fact some wiggle room that should allow them to make up some ground.

Apple is Essentially a Disgruntled, Hard-Edged Boss

With all of its success it is hard to take note of some of the problems that come with the Apple App Store. Truth be told, some companies are getting downright frustrated with the ambiguous policies that seem to be applied when dealing with Apple. Certain apps get the stamp of approval within seconds, while other comparable apps get denied for no specific reason. Many developers of applications may be excited for a breath of fresh air and to deal with a company that isn’t so wishy-washy or hesitant when it comes to decisions. Apple does not pursue any Q&A process and really ignores the developers as a part of the process. But is that enough to cut down on Apple’s stranglehold on the market?

In essence, other mobile phone companies should have no problem persuading application developers to move their services over, right? That is where the problem lies. Even though the developers are frustrated those download numbers we just talked about are staggering. Think about how much attitude you have to put up with when dealing with people above you in your company, or how much brownnosing you need to do to get the promotion you want. Plus on top of that there are now over 40 million consumers that own an iPod Touch or an iPhone. Pretty sure all that developers will put up with an infinite amount of attitude and judgement just to get their product in front of 40 million consumers. Wouldn’t you?

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