10 thoughts on “The Battle of the Apps: Google vs. Apple”

  1. While looking at number of apps on a platform and new projects on a platform are good indicators , I would argue they are lagging indicators in nature. Market Adoption —Drives–> developer choice for app. Although in the past developer adoption was a leading indicator because developers would write applications on technology they could work with , today that is not the case. Pretty much all the platforms are easy to work with. Developers understand more about market and write to Market needs rather than technology fitment.

  2. A very interesting competition is brewing between Google and Apple. Flurry has some great data, too. We’ve been commenting on the app vs. mobileweb debate on our blog – we think that factors into this just as much as who will win the app war.

  3. Great Analysis. I’ve also done two recent posts on the state of Nokia’s Ovi application store and available apps in different categories that you will be able to read here:



    The fact remains that Andorid and iphone are truly the market leaders and others are just playing to catch up. Any developer will tell you that Symbian is a very complicated platform to build apps for and if Nokia wants to be a factor, they need to pay more attention to their devs as well.

  4. When we started the project hosting feature on Google Code, we were *very* specific to not talk about how many projects were hosted on Google Code [versus other hosting sites, such as SourceForge]. Raw counts really don’t say anything about the quality of the hosting site or the ecosystem.

    Counts of available applications are the same. Once you hit “critical mass”, then what does it matter? If I can find 90% of my desired utility among 1000 apps, then why do I care that 65,000 are present?

    This is also reminiscent of the number of “pages indexed” by the big search engines. Fools gold.

    Please look at whether the apps fill needs (general or niche) rather than pure numbers. That will be hard to do, so a probabilistic may be workable. “At 10k apps, this should cover 99% of users’ needs.”

    My last point/question is: does your mother and father *really* care about these apps? Do they demand the depth/breadth advertised and provided? I guarantee my mother would be oblivious, and my father would install maybe four apps. Could it be that all the ruckus is simply the echo chamber of the alpha geeks in our corner of the techie world?

  5. Dear Om,

    1) I don’ believe I recall Jason Calacanis saying Apple was doomed…rather that WE were screwed if Apple’s continued anti-competitive practices were coupled with its continued success .
    2) I think this is an interesting analysis but as Greg Stein above mentioned, what really matters is quality over quantity. I don’t think 100,000 apps that all make fart-sounds is indicative of anything! To that point, I agree with Michael Arrington that the Android platform may be more compelling as virtually all native phone functionality can be integrated whereas Apple is restrictive.
    3) The real question is where is this all heading? Android and the iPhone OS are ushering in new form factors of computing as these OS’s will in all likelihood be incorporated into tablet-size machines that will probably do away with netbooks. Right now, there are two clear competitors and thank goodness for that.

  6. I dunno, Android has been around for awhile and hasn’t really gone anywhere especially compared to Apple. I’m starting to wonder if Google has the ability to get beyond the beta stage to a real product. i guess we will know when there are more Android phones out and how well they are accepted.

  7. Om,
    Good post.
    My 2 cents , it will be iPhone platform followed by PALM WebOS.
    The rest including (Andriod ) will be junk in coming days.

    You need to focus on the work you are doing , in APPLE and PALM case , they are serious.

    Google and Microsoft has too many things going. RIM is just slow

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