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The Battle Of The App Marketplaces

31 March 2010 2,424 views No Comment

This was going to happen, only we did not realize it would happen so soon. As app marketplaces compete to attract developers and users to build a sustainable ecossytem, we as a digital generation get to witness the most significant thing in our connected lives this decade – the battle of the app marketplaces.

So we know they can be device driven (iPhone/Droid/iPad) or platform/network driven (Twitter/Facebook) – and we did some crystal ball gazing here at iptiam some time back – (Read OneForty and iTunes App Store: Do They Intersect? ) This is a scenario we had referred to:

Targeting apps to devices, and not experiences, is actually unfortunate. If you feed “Goto Movie” on your PC before you leave home, your PC at home must communicate with the smart device in your car, which should communicate with the smartphone in your hand which should communicate with your iPad in your bag. Seemless integration based on what you want to do should be the intended result.

And we had suggested that OneForty (a Twitter App store) has an edge, since Twitter maps closer to experiences than any single device (iPad). In this battle of the App marketplaces, maybe a collection of devices might come closer to addressing an experience requirement of the user – iPad + iPod touch + iPhone – but at the end of the day, it boils down to reach (think Facebook vs Google Opensocial). Which might be a problem for the android phones at this point (Low reach => Fewer Apps => Fewer Reasons to Buy => Low Reach) – whereas the iPhone has this – (High reach => More Apps => More Reasons to Buy => More reach). So as in all cases, obviously, the trick is in getting this balance right.

Or, you just go for an open territory with more reach but the platform owner did not bother to have a marketplace. Like OneForty. Which is why, like we said before, we think it is probably a masterstroke.

Picture this: you select an app on OneForty, choose the “devices” you need that on – or better still, choose the “experiences” you want for that app – example: select one or more of the following: 1. Native Experience (Win) 2. Native Experience (Mac) 3. Touch Experience (Smartphone-Win) 4. Touch Experience (Smartphone-Mac)5. Touch Experience (Tablet-Win) 6.Touch Experience (Tablet-Mac) – then pay for all that on OneForty, in one shot. OneForty of course takes care of the rest (pay iTunes ? / Google / MS).

Why is OneForty at the center in this scenario? Because its NOT device-driven. User requirements are NOT device-driven. They are context-driven (e.g. at home, in a coffee shop) – today, a device is the closest proxy we have to represent the user’s context.

Welcome to the battle of the app marketplaces. You can find where you parked your car, in 10 different ways. We live in exciting times.

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