Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Billions of applications downloades; where's the beef?

Per Apple, as reported in BusinessInsider, more than 2 billion applications have been downloaded onto iPhones. A truly incredible number, and with 85,000 applications in hundreds of niches, represents the democratization (commoditization) of software as I suspect that the vast majority of these downloads were of software that cost less than $2.00/download (with no maintenance charges). More than 10 MILLION applications are downloaded each day! 40 applications per phone....(maybe I should insert disposable before application?).

But (and there always needs to be a but), where are the great new emerging iPhone software companies that are roaring their way to the IPO bank, or into the adoring arms of buyers?

Perhaps, the iPhone really represents a watershed, and terminal, event in the software market. The tipping point of consumer software, where it's now an element of 'Free', a way station towards advertising, subscription, or commerce revenues. No longer a revenue objective in its own right. If so, wherefore art thou future MSFT, EA, Intuit (note the Mint acquisition as highly strategic in a deeply commoditized IP world)? Do your businesses look like Google or Amazon?

1 comment:

  1. Hey Charlie, I actually think I just stumbled into the "big emerging iPhone software company" by accident. Funny how that happens. I'm cranking on one thing and suddenly I get a "Whoa! What if we targeted this market?" moment. Very cool!

    To answer your question though, I think many of the iPhone app developers are still in the tinkering phase. Many are playing around to see what kind of cool stuff they can build. Others are using the iPhone as an extension of their web application, seeing the iPhone as an appliance for their customers to access their existing products.

    Pretty soon you'll see someone come in and buy up a bunch of cool apps to make a run at being a big software company. And just maybe you will see people figure out a very cool way to serve the iPhone app development industry and in the process become a "big emerging iPhone software company." But just maybe...

    Mike Langford
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