Apple's App Store is turning one today. Time flies when customers download 1.5 billion copies from the 65,000 choices now available at the Apple App store.
One year later, we are seeing "the other guys" playing a sad game of catchup.
Verizon, for example, will be announcing the launch of a new application store at it's developer conference in San Jose on the 28th of this month. The wireless carrier is making it clear that it's application store will only carry Verizon applications and not applications from Blackberry or Microsoft's Window's Mobile Marketplace due to open later this year (I smell a coming tension in those relationships).
Speaking of Window's Mobile Marketplace, Microsoft is announcing today at its Worldwide Partner's Conference in New Orleans an invitation for developers from 29 countries to gain access to start developing new applications in anticipation of the store's launch.
RIM (parent company of Blackberry) has been struggling to get it's application store off the ground for sometime. Just today, it has launched a social networking version of its store called MyBlackberry. Will this be too little too late or put it in the game at last? Stay tuned on that one.
I think these are more important questions to ask:
1. How much is a robust app store driving iPhone sales? Is it the other way around?
2. Blackberry users, for example, are not quite the same demographic as the average iPhone user. Why should we assume a successful application store would be as beneficial?
3. Is the app gap and an age gap? 50 applications on your smartphone may make sense at age 25. Does it make sense to the average 40 or 50 something executive?
Then again, the smartphone gang doesn't really care as much about us fossils who only care about a mobile weather forecast, a map (which our old eyes can't read on that little screeen anyway) and maybe a headline or two.