You have probably heard of everyone talking about or building their own app stores? Let me tell you – I have – in the software development circles it is a hot topic. When I was at Microsoft, every aspiring manager wanted to build an app store. App stores in Mac, PC, TV and for software plugins?
App Store is a hot topic because Apple made it successful. The truth is Apple’s app store was successful not because of the fact that you could download software remotely but because Apple was able to create a hot distribution platform by building a revolutionary smartphone. Apple didn’t follow the “build and wait” approach but focused on delighting its users – app store followed as a natural by product.
In my view, any application platform eco-system needs the following key ingredients:
- A delightful product
- Distribution – partnership and technology
- Continuous innovation – developer brainpower
Android has been able to take second place in the smartphone market because it was originally able to place itself as the “next best thing” to iPhone. Android has an open market place, a vibrant group of developers – barring severe fragmentation – I believe Android based smartphones are here to stay.
It’s also interesting to note that Amazon chose Android to build its own app store. Is Amazon going to build its own phone based on Android eventually or is it building it purely to take advantage of its vast user reach (largest online retailer in the United States) to sell apps? Amazon certainly has the resources and has been hiring with guns blazing – my former colleagues from Microsoft who have recently joined Amazon, any comments?