Sunday, September 21, 2008

App store observations

Having a few apps on the store, and having closely followed rankings, popularity and pricing over the past couple of monthes, here are a couple observations:
  • There are still plenty of business issues (mktg, customer service, ip, taxes, etc) to deal with even though Apple takes care of some (distribution, payment, part of taxes). I think there's some opportunity there (publishing houses, co-ops?, consolidation?), but I'm not sure what yet.
  • 'mimic' apps are making there way on to the store...sometimes better, sometimes not, often stealing wording and sample data straight from other apps and cross-posting reviews to drive traffic to their apps
  • Not a lot of apps that access critical consumer data (i.e. - my bank, my frequent travler info, etc) -- slow-moving large corps [opportunity]
  • Surprise market for apps for 'little kids' (parents appear to gladly pay 99c-4.99 to keep a kid busy for some period of time)
  • Great market for taking something that's specialized and mechanical (sleep sounds, chess clock, specialized calculator) and making a cheap digital version.
  • Still lots of new game concepts that haven't been tapped . . .
  • When you have something that's selling all over the world, it's a challenge to keep up with what's going on in all the different country-based app stores, and partitioning feedback, marketing, and sales to drive prioritization.
Apple is starting a free program for universities and students: http://developer.apple.com/iphone/program/university.html that will let them openly discuss and collaborate on iphone/touch development.

However, the NDA is still in effect for experienced developers and publishers, though the enforcement seems erratic (some developers are openly violating it in discussion forums, app descriptions, blogs, tweets, etc).

1 comment:

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