No, App Store Quantity Does Not Equal Success

Tom Warren, writing for The Verge:

A number of critics have highlighted flaws in Microsoft’s mobile strategy, some pointing to the number of apps available. Robert Scoble has been the most vocal recently, arguing that Windows Phone is missing 450,000 apps, and developers aren’t interested in focusing their resources on building apps for the platform. Business Insider responded and pointed to Windows Phone’s 50,000 apps, compared to iOS’ 500,000 and Android’s 400,000, noting that Windows Phone reached the 50K milestone faster than iOS and Android. The numbers game is irrelevant for the majority of smartphone users, they simply want “cool” apps, and ones that their friends have — something that Windows Phone lacks right now.

I’ve said this several times before, but quantity-of-apps is a terrible primary metric for the appeal of a platform. If the quantity of app titles were all that mattered, we’d all be using Windows, not Mac OS X, right? Having the most apps matters, but having the best apps matters too. The sweet spot for a platform is to do well in both regards.

Think about something like the Nintendo DS. If quantity were all that mattered, no one would buy the DS instead of something like the iPod Touch. The DS is popular not because of the quantity of titles, but because of the quality of the titles it does have.

Monday, 16 January 2012