Game Marketing Tips, Analysis, and News

Monday, June 7, 2010

App Bonanza Expands

As I write this, Steve Jobs is busy telling developers about the new iPhone, and it does sound pretty cool. But the real news that should be getting you excited is not the new hardware, nor even the advent of Farmville for the iPhone. It's the state of the App market. Now there's 225,000 Apps in the App store, and they just crossed 5 billion downloads... and have paid out over $1 billion to developers. Plus, while Apple was showing stats on the growth of the iPhone and its App market, they were showing numbers about Android. They interesting thing is how Windows Mobile, Blackberry and Nokia are shrinking, while Apple and Android are growing at an amazing rate. Why does this matter? Because Apple and Android have easy App markets to get into, and by far the highest volume of App sales... so that's where the money is for developers.

New Android phones are getting pretty amazing, and it's nice to see sharp competition between Apple and other hardware makers. The result is the market for Apps of all flavors is growing fast. Interestingly, there is only a 5% overlap between iPhone Apps and Android Apps, according to Flurry (the leading mobile analytics firm). This surprises me... app developers are missing an easy way to expand their sales. Do an iPhone app, then port it to Android, or vice versa.

And all this App frenzy is even without counting the 2 million iPads sold so far (one every 3 seconds now), and the 17 apps per iPad that have been downloaded to this point. Oh, and PDFs are now part of the iBookstore... and the iBookstore is accounting for 22% of ebook sales from major publishers. Plus they are now allowing individuals to put ebooks up for sale. And the iBookstore (complete with PDF support) is coming to the new iPhone OS 4. So individual authors can now make their ebooks available to the 100 million iDevices out there, or will be able to soon.

Rumors have already started to emerge that Apple TV is going to get completely redone... as an iPhone type device, using that operating system and ecosystem. Imagine being able to buy games and play them on your TV... as Apple finally cracks the console market and completely upends that business, while opening up chances for small game developers to finally reach a huge audience. And did I mention Google TV, which has already been announced and is planning essentially the same thing? I wouldn't want to be Sony or Nintendo or Microsoft right now. They're going to be in LA in a week trying to get the world excited about what's coming for consoles, and meanwhile the world is changing in fundamental ways that they don't address.

Marketing is going to be even more key to this future...

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