Apple has a nack for not inventing anything new, but taking what is already out on the market and polishing the living hell out of it, calling it innovative, then making a lot of money on overpriced hardware locked into an easy to use, almost addictive, software ecosystem. It’s a formula that everyone would like to follow.
Of the many things that Apple has done, the App Store ranks up there as one of the most emulated concepts. Operators all around the world started releasing their own App Stores, then hardware manufacturers soon followed, and we soon ended up with a bloody mess. Consumers would buy a mobile phone from their operator and chances are it came with the App Store from the company that made the phone, the App Store from the operator providing mobile service, and a link to GetJar in their mobile browser. This system couldn’t last forever, and today we got a sign of things to come.
Say hello to “Wholesale Application Community“!
América Móvil, AT&T, Bharti Airtel, China Mobile, China Unicom, Deutsche Telekom, KT, mobilkom austria group, MTN Group, NTT DoCoMo, Orange, Orascom Telecom, Softbank Mobile, Telecom Italia, Telefónica, Telenor Group, TeliaSonera, SingTel, SK Telecom, Sprint, Verizon Wireless, VimpelCom, Vodafone and Wind are operators who are going to be working making a new App Store.
Joining them are LG, Samsung and Sony Ericsson.
That’s 24 companies trying to making something better than a few hundred dedicated Apple employees. It’s a bit sad since whatever this mega joint venture accomplishes will never be as rich, as nice, or as easy to use as anything that a concentrated group of talented folks will achieve, but even worse than that is the entire concept of an application store. It’s over hyped. In a few years we’re going to laugh at why we thought application stores were a good idea. They’re exactly what Yahoo! was when it first launched, a directory.
What these companies should be working on is making it easier to bill consumers for content and services. People want to pay for digital goods, I’m convinced of this, but it has to be made easy. Right now it isn’t, and making another App Store isn’t going to help the situation.