Wednesday, 17 June 2009

The iPhone app store business model

In researching my previous post on Opera Unite I came across a fascinating article on the Apple iPhone and the business model behind it. It's a fascinating insight and shows very much how Apple have planned their strategy before diving in.

I think it's great that a strategy has been devised and that it enables business to charge for their work on the web. Every one's gotta get paid. I've no problem with that. I blogged it cos I'm figuring out what I think about Apple and the iPhone. I think it's a fantastic piece of kit. It's opened the worlds eyes to the potential of mobile devices and it's put a single operating system and form factor in place so it's easy for every one to know exactly what they're getting and what it should do.

That's great but it's also very controlling, or lowest common denominator. As a developer I know that my life would be a lot easier if I just had to code for one browser, one screen size, one spec. But then that would mean that all users would have to adjust to their device. I believe the device should adjust to the user.

So I'm still not convinced about the iPhone because I feel it's designed as a way to make money first and a way to help users second. Fair enough, Google is using Android to make money too. But I feel their open approach allows me more control and that they're the guys to put my needs first and money second. All I mean by that is that they work hard to give me what I want. No matter what it is. So they work on flexible solutions. They aren't as polished as apples but they're designed to mould to me not the other way around.

Some one mentioned that it doesn't feel right to charge money in the google market place. While that's a no brainer in the iPhone store. That could be true at the moment. But as I said everyones gotta earna living somehow and open source isn't always expected to be free. Just open. so I think I'm just waiting to see if the revenue stream side of things is going to be as well thought out for Android as it is for the iPhone.

It shows just how good Apple are at benefitting from their innovation and good strategy. It's obvious they'll be around for a long time to come.
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