The App Bandwagon

It looks like everyone is joining the wave of application stores on-device after the success of Apple's iPhone AppStore. Hopefully this new trend will help promote mobile applications as a whole. I'm still waiting for those 2 million Centro users to discover software on the Palm OS platform. ;-)

RIM is now getting into the action with the recent announcement of their new Blackberry App Center. The store won't be ready until March of 2009, developers will retain 80% of the revenue, and PayPal will be used to process the payments.

Android's Market is here, but paid apps wait until Q1. Developers retain 70% of the revenue. Google states that it keeps nothing, but the 30% goes to billing settlement fees and to the carriers. No mention is made on who will process the payments.

Palm has MyTreo, MyCentro, and Addit on-device software stores, but the developer revenue is close to a reverse of the new application stores, plus only a limited number of apps are available. Bluefish Wireless runs these on-device stores for Palm. PocketGear runs Palm's PC-based Software Connection store.

Microsoft is secretly "secretly planning" an upcoming app-like store called Skymarket, but no major details have surfaced. On Microsoft's website (PC-based) store, Windows Mobile Catalog, consumers can purchase their software via several ESD's, including Mobihand and Handango.

Nokia has a download store but you must install the software to your device via your PC. An application is available that you can also download and install on your device to shop, but it appears to be geared towards Europe. What is possible to do on-device is not as clear cut as the AppStore, AppMarket, or RIM's app store, including how purchases can be made after the free-to-try downloads. Please feel free to comment if you have more information from your experiences.

All the focus on applications for mobiles is good for the mobile ecosystem. Low commissions for developers and ease of installation directly on the device for users can only lead to more development and adoption of mobile software.