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?

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