July 22, 2008

Bill de hÓra on Apple's AppStore.

The appstore is easily the most interesting part of the iPhone, much more than 3G. The appstore imvho means three things. First the carrier deck constraint is shifted away from the operator or default homepages to getting placed on the appstore's core views (like hot, top 25 and new). Second, and this what is drives the first, "embed date stress" is relaxed somewhat. In the mobile handset biz, phone embed dates are king - missing the date is bad because nobody, statistically speaking, downloads applications - whereas the appstore is easy to use. The appstore allows you to have a hit well after the handset launch. Third, "OTA" (over the air) updates will become the normal way of doing things instead of a feature - bad bug? - requirements 180? - protocol upgrade? Push out a new revision the way we do today with desktop applications and browser plugins. As much as Tim Bray doesn't like sharecropping and objective-c, this is a good for SMEs and innovators. I can imagine handset and opcos cloning the appstore model, right down as far as supporting technology, eg Android supporting an OSGi-a-like, and enhanced developer programs to drive applications. (None of this is good for IMS btw).
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