Apple’s wildly successful App Store was not the first mobile software catalogue, but it has been the most successful and with over 65 000 apps with a billion and a half sales, it is a digital steamroller. That Palm would enter the same market with the Pre was an easy forecast. As of 16 June, their SDK opened up to general development – a move that will take usher their Pre and its fanbase into the mainstream. Or will it?
According to their blog, the beta phase of the sonorously named App Catalog, has already seen 1,8 million downloads. But between Nokia’s Ovi, Apple’s App Store, the Palm App Catalog, Sony Ericsson’s app store, the Android Market, and a handful of other stores, there are bound to be a few who don’t can’t fit into the lift.
Palm’s Pre is currently mated to one carrier in the USA, but will roll out in Europe and Asia. While a decent product with a strong following of Apple haters, the Pre has a hard road ahead of it. The hitherto strength inherent in exclusivity will prove to be a bane for success. Already, AT&T’s antiquated business models and lethargic reactions to a market are proving counterproductive to Apple’s consumer base. Exclusivity precludes innovation and products slaved to such models will find success a hard road. The future is not about business parters and bleeding the competition, it is about the developer and her outlets for success.
Palm, Nokia and Apple are testing their virility in the download marketplace, but currently support too selfish of economies. Apple’s device is one product, a platform that forever will be Apple Only. Palm, in their pigheadedness will follow the same path and so too will faithful followers of old practices. Android and Chrome, however, are poised to explode. Prepared for the future in Open Source software that while establishing a self-serving market, has fewer stipulations on hardware, carriers, and thus, developers.
The current Mobile phone market is reminiscent of early 1980′s Silicon Valley history, a time when Apple dominated the exploding personal computer market as a bold, innovative company. Microsoft’s virulent strategy worked then, but now, in a mobile market that is poised for change, will pale when juxtaposed with Google’s open source platforms. As the laptop has replaced the desktop, smartphones too, will replace their heavier, untethered counterparts. The iPhone and the Pre will continue in prosperity for some years, both companies need to adopt more community-friendly strategies to continue to gain the support of developers as the landscape dramatically changes.
More speculation about the iPhone can be found below:
Standardisation of Smartphone Sync Ports to USB — AT&T Tethering, not Free, but not 55$ — No More GoPhone with OS 3.0 — AT&T and Apple, Speculation about 2010