- Thursday, March 12th, 2009
30,000 iPhone Apps?!!?
The iPhone app store is now projected to have over 30,000 apps by the end of March. 30,000! That number is sure to double by the end of this year due to the iPhone quickly taking on the role of the Golden Child for the entire Mobile Marketing industry. So, in effect, we could be looking at over 60,000 apps by the end of 2009. If anything, the iPhone App Store is quickly reaching a saturation point and in danger of promoting quantity over quality (if it hasn’t reached that point already which I think it has…)
Unfortunately, stories written about developers making over $500,000 because of one iPhone app, are helping to fuel this virtual Gold Rush to get something on the iPhone at any cost. Apple also seems to be taking a role in this by lowering standards for apps to be on their platform. Do we really need 48 versions of a Fart App? However, from a marketing standpoint, it’s much easier for Apple to promote an iPhone app store with 30,000 apps versus an Android or Blackberry app store with 5,000. Regardless if 29,950 of those 30,000 apps are crap, which message do you think is going to resonate with the consumer more when deciding on a new smartphone?
So far, this pissing contest would clearly belong to Apple. What about the consumer though? Unless you’re 14 and bored in Scandinavian History class, I don’t think you’re going to have time to go through and try out all the apps available in the app store. Thankfully, there’s quite a few iPhone App review sites you can visit here, here and here.
Another option is to check the Top 50 apps on your iPhone or through iTunes. This is a good indicator of what apps are currently ‘hot’ and, for the most part, usually are worth the download. Carpe Diem though. What’s good for the goose might not be good for the gander. Though an app might be ‘hot’ it might not be your cup of tea (see Fart app mention above.) Apple also recently enforced a new Ratings rule which only allows consumers who have downloaded and tried the app to review it. This has helped prevent developers from artificially inflating the ratings on their app.
Finally, you can always fall back on asking your friends / co-workers about any interesting apps they might have recently downloaded. I know there’s at least 5 apps that are mainstays on my iPhone deck due to personal recommendations.
Over the course of the next few weeks, I’ll be writing a few more columns detailing our own experiences with creating and promoting our own app as well as one we’re building for a major brand client. This should help provide some great insight into the iPhone app process…