Ronnie05's Blog

Evolution of App Stores (Part I)

Posted in Applications and User Interfaces by Manas Ganguly on February 6, 2011

Android and Apps were two buzz words of the 2010. While Android went places and became the No 1 platform for smart-phones globally, Apps went on to become the “word of the year 2010” as chosen by American Dialect Society. Apps in the mobile computing parlance adorned ubiquity as symbolized by the clichéd “There’s an App for that” maxim.

One has to walk a step back and look at the evolution of App stores as it stands today and then try and extrapolate apps into future.

Apps Stores evolution

1st Gen Apps stores
1. The first App stores were all OEM Apps Stores. The intent was experience differentiation for the user. So we had the iPhone and Apple Apps Store, Nokia and the Ovi Apps Store, Blackberries and the Blackberry App world and a few others.

2. Along the same time, there was a parallel development of Apps stores around Operating Systems/platforms. There were Android and Windows which were Platform specific running across range of Device manufacturers.

3. The next level of Apps stores were really the “independent” app stores as against the “local stores” which were hard-bundled on the device. These were device agnostic in the sense that they catered to all device platforms.

2nd Gen Apps Stores
4. A significant portion of the apps store activity was actually happening at the device sides leaving the carriers out in the cold, relegating them to the “Proverbial dumb pipes”. Many large, medium and small Telecom operators/carriers have started launching the Operator Apps stores. By partnering with VAS companies, third party “white labelled” app store makers and other software developers, Operators launched apps stores for users. In spirit these were consistent with the independent apps stores offering applications and VAS across a range of devices they were servicing.

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