The App Store
Late last week, the App Store reached the 10 billion download landmark. It's quite a feat at roughly two and a half years in existence. They awarded the winner with a $10,000 iTunes gift card, which we are sure will be used for plenty of purchases over the next several months.
Most developers don't seem to be complaining, either. Many have been able to make a great deal of money in the App business, and there have even been some recent successes. For instance, the folks who develop Pixelmator, an image editor for OS X with tools comparable to Photoshop, but none of the bloat, recently announced that they had made a million dollars in 20 days. That developer has been at it for a while now, and in their blog used words like "ecstatic" to describe their feelings about the money the App pulled in.
The Android Market
Unfortunately, as it's been said before, Android development can still be tough. The payment system is still something that's being worked out, and Google's Android platform manager Eric Chu said Google is "not happy" about their paid app sales.
How Google is Changing Things
Because of that, Google is currently rethinking their payment systems and working on a few key features. First, is an in-app payment system, which will debut this quarter. The idea is to take advantage of selling additional goods and features through the application, whether being a free app or paid app. An example of this could be a free racing game where the player can purchase new cars for real world money. The game is as they say free-to-play, but extra elements are paid in small, affordable micro-transactions.
They are also planning to work out their carrier billing plan. They've been doing this one for a while, but they still have to work it out to expand it across more carriers. Currently it's AT&T, but they will need more of the major carriers on board if they want this to work. The idea is that anything you purchase is added to your monthly bill.
Google also hopes to work on weeding out the junk apps that have been known to plague the market. There isn't much detail on everything that's going on, but they said they do have a roadmap of their current plans.
Still, Mobile App Stores Will Grow
So far, Apple's plan is working for them and the developers that sell on their platform. Right now, a report from market research firm Gartner shows that mobile app stores revenue is expected to grow over the next year. They say that revenue for mobile app stores will triple from last year's $5.2 billion to $15 billion.
If their estimates are right, the mobile marketplace can grow to $58 billion by 2014.
Times Are Changing
It's crazy to believe that just a few years ago, an idea like the App Store seemed crazy. At least when it game to games and computer applications. After all, we had plenty of perfectly legit ways of getting the software we wanted online. Today, mobile marketplaces and fronts like the Mac App Store just make it a easier. We don't have to worry about who is asking us for our credit card information, because it's tied to a service many of us have been using for almost ten years.
Now, if Google can adjust their strategy, we are sure developers will see great success. There's always room for competition. In fact, competition keeps the tech world moving. Let's keep it coming.