"platform" entries

iTunes App Store Incubation Period Increases In Most Categories

Over the last few weeks, media coverage of the iTunes app store often touches on concerns about Apple’s approval process. Some apps drew enough complaints that Apple pulled them off the app store. With thousands of developers wanting to launch apps and Apple unable to come up with a more efficient vetting process, I’m revisiting an earlier post on the duration of incubation periods by category.

News Providers are Embracing the iPhone

To mark another iPhone milestone (1.5 billion app downloads in a year), I checked our iTunes app store data warehouse. I was expecting the Books category to continue to register the fastest-growth but was instead greeted by an explosion in News (and to a lesser extent, Navigation) apps. News content providers increasingly need to have a strategy for delivering content to the iPhone and similar mobile devices. At least for the iPhone, many news organizations have done just that: during the week ending 7/12, there were over 1,500 News apps.

2 Years Later, the Facebook App Platform is Still Thriving

In a few weeks, the Facebook application platform will mark its second anniversary. While it garnered lots of press coverage in the months after it launched, the arrival of the iTunes app store shifted attention away from Facebook's vibrant ecosystem. The media glow is understandable: among other things, the younger iTunes platform is adding apps at a much faster rate than Facebook or Myspace.

The iTunes App Store and One-hit Wonders

Thousands of sellers created the 40,000 apps that have appeared in the U.S. iTunes app store. Measured in terms of apps per seller, developer and vendor engagement has gotten stronger over time. The above average (mean) is somewhat misleading: 52% of sellers have produced just one app, and 80% have released 3 or fewer. Certain types of apps (e.g. electronic books) are easier to create, thus inflating the overall average app per seller. The disparity in complexity across categories is captured in the chart below. Aside from Books, Travel and Education apps also tend to be easy to develop and launch. The number of apps per seller also depends on whether one is interested in Paid or Free apps.

Waiting for the Billionth Download

Over the next week, the iTunes App Store is set to record its billionth download, an impressive milestone given that it launched less than a year ago. Granted the actual usage of most apps is spotty. To mark the event, I’m updating a few charts that I produced for previous posts. Slightly over 35,000 apps have appeared in the U.S. app store. Over 31,000 were available in the last week alone, about 78% of which were PAID apps.

The Fastest-Growing Category in the iTunes App Store: Books

At least as measured in terms of number of unique applications, Books have grown the fastest over the last 12 weeks. (Data for this post limited to apps on the U.S. iTunes store through 3/1/2009.) Granted releasing an e-book for the iPhone is a lot easier than writing a gaming application using the iPhone SDK. Roughly 6 out 10 of…

The Incubation Period for iPhone Apps is Declining

A conversation with Raven Zachary at Macworld prompted me to dig into the state of new apps on the (U.S.) iTunes App store. First, I looked into the number of new apps that become available on a weekly basis. In the chart below, an app is considered new if it appears in the app store for the first time in…

Newspapers Pursued New Tech with Wrong Intentions

In a column at Slate, Jack Schafer says newspapers' overcommitment to form and content lock-in led to the industry missing Web opportunities: From the beginning, newspapers sought to invent the Web in their own image by repurposing the copy, values, and temperament found in their ink-and-paper editions. Despite being early arrivals, despite having spent millions on manpower and hardware,…

iTunes App Store: The First Five Months

Taking a cue from Raven's recent post announcing the 10,000 iPhone app milestone, I decided to update some charts from earlier posts on the U.S. iTunes app store. First, the weekly growth in the number of apps was slower in November: the number of apps grew less than 10% on a weekly basis for all of November. During the last…

John Doerr on the iPhone as a Gaming Platform

At the Web 2.0 summitt, John Doerr mentioned the high number of games available in the iTunes App store, and wondered whether the iPhone's potential as a gaming platform is being underestimated by Sony and Nintendo. His interest stems from KP having funded a company that develops free and paid games available through the iTunes store. I decided to pull…