Rating: We know who No.1 is but who is No.6? Patrick McGoohan?
Whilst researching GetJar’s place in the mobile apps market, this GoMo News hack discovered there’s no really comprehensive guide to online sites which offer mobile phone app downloads. This is a swift fix for that omission.
The rest of the media is content to overlook the likes of GetJar and Handango while concentrating on the likes of the Android Market, Nokia’s Ovi and – obviously – Apple’s iTunes App Store.
The piece – entitled ‘Not the only store on the block’ is extremely useful for app developers because it outlines the kind of payments developers might expect to receive if they pick a particular site as an outlet for their programs.
If GetJar is No.2 then who might be No.3? The obvious candidates are the Android Market and the Ovi Store. Significantly, GetJar slammed Nokia’s claim to be No.2 back In December 2009 here when it questioned how many of Ovi’s one million a day downloads were actually apps not wallpapers, etc.
Both these stores suffer from the disadvantage of being pretty OS specific (less so in Ovi’s case) rather than multi-platform. Interestingly both sites aren’t that easy to search for apps which is why specialist sites like AndroidLib and Cyrket continue to thrive.
The nice touch with Android sites is that they make extensive use of mobile barcodes which make it easier for handset owners to download apps directly to their phones rather than having to ‘side-load’ via a PC.
Although it’s easy to criticise network operator sites for lacking a breadth of app types, Vodafone does appear to have put a great deal of effort into creating its Vodafone 360 offering.
The biggest surprise – given the support Microsoft offers to its developers – is the fact that the Windows Mobile Marketplace appears to be doing badly with a relatively low number of available apps.
A new lease of life has been thrown to the Palm Software Catalog given that H-P has recently bought out the company but it still has a relatively low number of apps compared to another specialist – Samsung Apps which when Blackman compiled his report had roughly twice as many apps as Palm.
Out of the mobile operators 3 UK, for example, only launched its 3App store in December 2009 , the same month that Orange UK announced its own App store.
A dark horse here – and not mentioned by Blackman – is the LG Application Store which claimed to have launched with 1,400 apps, including 100 free programs.
By the time of its UK launch, LG expected to offer over 2,000 apps. The UK version was due out ages ago but GoMo News couldn’t find it although the Australian one definitely exists here. Sony Ericsson launched its ‘eStore’ at MWC 2010 and claimed to have 30,000 apps ready.
The trickiest player in this whole sector must surely be the combination of PocketGear and Handango which joined forces back in February 2010 – with each site claiming over 140,000 apps available for sale and download.
That’s nearly 300,000 apps. Strangely, both sites appear to be still running separately.
The one real gripe GoMo News has is the difficulty in discovering the mobile specific URLs for such sites. There’s no standard convention. Some replace the ‘www’ with ‘m.’ while others have actually standardised on a .mobi suffix.
Finding those URLs is a major project on its own! Oh, and for those puzzled by the McGoohan reference, it’s taken from an old Brit TV series called The Prisoner.