Apple’s App Store celebrates one year of being in business today. It has certainly been quite a year. Over 56,000 apps and over a billion downloads is nothing to sneeze at. As I said when the App Store and the SDK were announced this “game over” post, Apple spurred changes in the mobile market that have had far reaching effects. Some predictable, some unpredictable, but far reaching nonetheless.
Everybody followed Apple into the App Store pond and now there are App Stores and MarketPlaces everywhere. That trend will just continue and while the followers will add benefit for consumers, they won’t be able to duplicate Apple’s success.
Sure there are a lot of less than mediocre apps abounding in the App Store, but there are gems as well. Apple has also had huge and very public problems deciding how to include and exclude apps for a variety of issues. The handling of this has seemed more than haphazard and doesn’t seem to be getting any better as the App Store enters year two.
It has also changed how folks think about price for apps. I find it somewhat amazing that when an app is released with a price of $9.99 that a hue and cry goes up about it being too expensive. But that probably will change and settle down as things go forward and we see better quality apps in the store in the future.
The one thing the App Store has proven beyond being a successful market for consumers to purchase apps on a whim and over the air, is how antiquated the process of having to sync to our computers is. When you can now purchase applications, songs, download podcasts and pull other content over the air, the desire is to completely decouple the device from any computer whatsoever. Apple hasn’t gotten there yet and that will probably not happen for some time.
One thing for sure, Apple has a mighty big one year old infant on its hands.