Wednesday, January 21, 2009

I want an App Store too

There are two products topping every device manufacturer wish list:
  1. App Store
  2. MobileMe
The same for carriers, because they can't leave it to the device manufacturers. Or they will become a dumb pipe before the rest of the world will realize it...

I am not going to talk about MobileMe for now (although you know where to find it ;-), but I will focus on the App Store.

Everyone wants one. Everyone is announcing one. I might actually get one too.

First it was Apple with the App Store (congrats for being the first as usual, and thank you so much for that, we would not be here without you ;-)

Then it was Google with the Marketplace for Android, soon to accept paid applications.

Lately, Palm announced its App Catalog. Quite expected.

Now RIM is making public they have one too, called Application Storefront (they are definitely less creative than others, having just enlarged the name from Apple ;-) If you are a developer, you can actually submit your apps today.

The last one (yeah, right) to join the fray is Microsoft. But for that, it appears we need to wait until MWC in Barcelona. There, they are likely to announce the Sky services. You bet, the SkyMarket is their answer to the App Store. At least they came out with a new name. And, BTW, they will also have their MobileMe product, called SkyBox. I know, I said I did not want to talk about it, but...

In any case, having 100 app stores might turn out to be a nightmare... If you are a developer, you need to post your app on every one of those, and they are all slightly different. Then you have the app stores run by the carrier (e.g. T-Mobile). All requiring some money to post your app. You do the math and you are back to square zero. Maybe the app store is not the answer. Maybe the browser should be the main tool for app discovery. Maybe we do not need a third party between us and the user.

But we definitely need MobileMe :-))