Skip to main content

The Evolution of Online Mobile App Storefronts

Mobile app stores have become strategic assets that are the focal point of a forward-looking independent software developer ecosystem. Any company that can lead in this market has a competitive advantage that their peers will want to try and replicate.

That being said, Apple recently won the ABI Research competitive assessment of mobile application storefronts, with Google finishing second and Microsoft third.

In the ABI assessment, the leading app distributors were ranked by two dimensions -- implementation and innovation.

In terms of implementation, Apple came first, ahead of Google and RIM.

The company’s superior performance in this dimension is mainly due to its effective approach to monetization, large market share over the app industry, and the ability to achieve a large inventory of titles while maintaining a reasonably strict quality control.

However, in the innovation dimension Apple is narrowly beaten by Microsoft, with Google claiming the third spot.

ABI Research is particularly impressed by Microsoft’s fresh approach to app discovery, as well as Windows Phone store’s overall solid usability.

Discovery is an area that has been given significant importance, because when a customer arrives at an app storefront much of the following download activity is based on how the vendor presents and highlights its inventory, especially through various charts.

"Although Apple has done a great job capitalizing on App Store’s head start as an app distributor, it should really start re-thinking the way it charts the top apps," said Aapo Markkanen, senior analyst at ABI Research.

ABI believes that Microsoft should be lauded for its initiative to extend its ranking algorithm beyond raw download figures, by including factors that can actually measure the customer satisfaction and retention.

Retention-based charts are less prone to manipulation, so as an additional plus Microsoft can also afford being more transparent about its approach.

Evolutionary moves like this can help the independent software developers to break free from the narrow focus on download ranking, decrease their reliance on costly marketing campaigns, and thus lower the barriers to market entry.

Popular posts from this blog

How a Digital-First CEO Leads Transformation

Some leaders reject the notion that "wait and see" is the best response to disruptive change. Savvy senior executives are already driving digital business transformation throughout their organization in an effort to gain a bold strategic advantage. According to the latest market study by International Data Corp (IDC), Digital-First CEOs plan to drive at least half of their income from digital business products, services, and experiences by 2027 -- that's ahead of the market average of 39 percent. Driven by their response to the COVID-19 pandemic, these business leaders have changed how they think about the relationship between business and technology, and how they approach the next digital transformation era -- from scaling digital technology to guiding a viable digital business. Digital Business Market Development IDC defines digital business as value creation based on technology, which entails: 1) Automated customer-facing processes and internal operations; 2) Provision

Digital Solutions for Industrial & Manufacturing Firms

Executive leaders of fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) are seeking guidance on how to apply new business technology in their manufacturing operations. CIOs and CTOs are tasked with gaining insight into the best solutions for digital transformation. ABI Research evaluated the impact politics, regulation, the economy, supply chain, ESG, and technology are having on FMCG, pharma, producers of steel, chemicals, pulp and paper -- as well as the mining and oil & gas sectors. Digital Transformation Market Development "Our assessment found that the FMCG sector is under pressure from all sides," says Michael Larner, industrial & manufacturing research director at ABI Research . Securing raw materials is challenging considering lockdowns in China and limited grain supplies from Ukraine. Supply shocks are raising input costs, and operating costs are rising with higher energy costs coupled with the pressure to pay higher wages and work sustainably. "We all hoped that with th

Retail Transformation Gains New Momentum

Forward-thinking retailers now have a bright future. In contrast, those that failed to enhance their business model via digital transformation have struggled, declined, and their assets were eventually liquidated. The key difference between these two business outcomes is applied strategic foresight. Even as the world continues to emerge from a global pandemic, retail is growing at levels not seen in the last two decades. Retail sales grew by 7 percent in 2020 and by over 14 percent in 2021, which is in stark contrast to the 3.7 percent annual growth between 2010 and 2019. The increased demand for retail has put a strain on supply chains and retail operations worldwide. As a result, retailers and stakeholders are turning to automation solutions such as mobile robotics for operational ease. Retail Transformation Market Development According to the latest market study by ABI Research, worldwide commercial robot revenue in retail stores will have a Compounded Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of o