Get ready for the application store wars

September 2, 2008 at 6:25 pm Leave a comment

First we had the browser wars. Remember? Those days when digital shops had to make websites work for a dozen versions of Netscape and Internet Explorer with no common standards. Then came the mobile device wars which are still ongoing, which means as a user you can’t even download a blackberry app if it isn’t compiled for THAT specific blackberry.

No one really cared about that much about this before, because, frankly, before the iphone, people just sort used phones, well, to phone people. Now all of that has changed. Apple’s iTunes Store made 30 Million bucks in the first month after apps were launched. What a great case of how product innovation and marketing innovation changed people’s behavior with one product launch.

Of course there’s Google, not wanting to be caught with their pants down, and started with Android, who some tech guys think will kick Apple’s butt because it’s much easier to program for than the iPhone Objective C programming language (an anacronism, really). Plus, of course Android has the chance to be a standard to many more millions of mobile devices already out there before iPhones can rule the world.

Well, guess what, now it looks like Microsoft (known for sluggish market entries) is entering, and you can get ready for the application store war. CNET reports:

It appears the software giant expects to launch an applications store called “Skymarket” this fall for its Windows Mobile platform, if a recent job posting spotted by Long Zheng at Istartedsomething.com is accurate. According to the ad posted Sunday on Computerjob.com, the Skymarket senior product manager will head a team that will “drive the launch of a v1 marketplace service for Windows Mobile.”

So now you basically got 3 forces: the closed-sourced innovator apple, the open-sourced Internet Giant Google, and Microsoft who’s just gonna fuel the fire through distribution power until the anti-trust cows come home. Wait… isn’t it always the same warring parties here??

Anyway, it seems that with every new delivery channel, and the random tech territory behind it, a necessary war has to ensue which at first is a hassle to end users.

However, after each one of these wars, we were better off than before. This war will ultimately really get the mobile phone out of the crib of technology used by early adopters and spawn a whole new set of mainstream innovations, better interfaces and usability (especially the iTunes interface could need an overhaul if you ask me). Not only will this make the mobile Internet omnipresent, but of course change the importance mobile marketing as well, as mobile platforms are bound to finally become the new integrator of all channels.

Just like the Web evangelists, the mobile evangelists were right, they were just too early. And however thankful you might be about Apple, they are not gonna win this war with their current closed-source approach. Oh, and agencies, if you don’t have a mobile marketing services business plan yet, get busy!

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Entry filed under: opinion, technology. Tags: , , , , , .

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