iPhone and the state of the application (Part 2)

In the last post I talked about the state of the iPhone web application. As promised, now we can take a look at the apps available via the iTunes store. In order to put the number of applications available lets look at the numbers. The number of web applications is now up to 2,505 from last week. In the iTunes store right now there are roughly 3,780 applications available. This is startling to me as the web apps have been available since day one.

Rounding up the number of total apps available that gives us 6,200 applications. Around 25% are games and 21% are labeled entertainment. I should point out that the way the Apple classifies things in the store it is a little convoluted but we’ll use these numbers for the sake of argument. Another point to consider here is that just because an application exists doesn’t mean that people are downloading and regularly using the application.

One of the complaints that has been noted recently is that the iTunes store is not organized efficiently. The shear volume of applications is making it difficult to find what the user wants or needs. Let’s look at an example to demonstrate the problem. If you search for “converter” you will return 150 results. You might be looking for Jeffrey Grossman’s Currency (iTunes Link). On the other hand you might be looking for Paolo Grifantini’s Currency Converter (iTunes Link). One is free the other is two bucks. Paolo is at a huge disadvantage here because the selling point is relegated to the description and screenshots. He need a way to “sell” his app to users.

The lack of a trial mechanism is also proving risky for paid apps. When the app store first opened many bloggers were running out there trying out as many apps as they could. Have they been able to keep up? Several have tried to keep pace or at least find some compelling things to highlight. However volume is getting to the point where users will have too many choices and forgo the store.

I’ll wrap up next time by bringing the web app and the iPhone app back to products and where we go from here.


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