≡ Menu

The important facts about Android Market are still unknown.

Image representing Google as depicted in Crunc...Image via CrunchBase, source unknown

In between dozing on the couch last night while watching Barack Obama’s speech out of one eye, I caught sight of the announcement of the Android App Store Market, Google’s answer to the Apple App Store.  Open to all, with no approval’s process, and designed to allow content as well as applications to be delivered, Android Market is trying to out-do Apple at its own game.

It’s not unexpected.  Every handset manufacturer, having watched the success of Apple in the market, must now surely be plotting the same maneuver.  Speculation is high that Microsoft’s reason for buying Danger wasn’t the OS platform, but rather the application store. Nokia has repeatedly dipped its toes into the water with on-deck applications browsing tools.  And RIM?  Well, I am sure the folks in Waterloo have watched Apple carefully and are taking an even closer look at what Google has now announced.  Even carriers are getting into the act as T-Mobile has announced they will provide a store.

Google’s “differentiators”  (content + applications, and no approvals process) of course are mere window dressing.  Two important facts are still unknown.

  1. What is the revenue split with Google for the Android developer?
  2. How many Android handsets will we see in the market?  In a world where Apple, in a few scant months, has sold over 6 million handsets surpassing the RIM handset runrate and now representing over half the global Nokia handset runrate, Google will have to deliver spectacularly.

Don’t expect Android Market to be a smashing success out of the gate.  Developers’ attentions are focused on Apple right now, with its clearly defined business model and obvious market opportunity.  Google is assembling all the pieces it needs to compete, but nothing can change the fact that their competition has a two year head start.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • PaulSweeney August 29, 2008, 5:45 am

    I think that if you keep "google as platform" to the fore, and the issue of "marginal revenue" to the fore, then what you will see is "shop" that is based on Google Adsense reasoning… even where other ad platforms are embedded in android enabled apps, Google will look to "re-intermediate" for data. IMHO. Position in adstore will be sold the same way as Adsense.

  • Bill Scott, VP Sales August 29, 2008, 7:08 pm

    Hi, to complement the good ideas here, I can report that we're seeing both carriers and handset OEMs adopt an app store approach, aggregating Free Applications to give away to their users, in order to boost data subscriptions (carriers) or sell more handsets (OEMs).

    We're going to follow Google's lead and add an Android section on GetJar, giving Android developers another route to market. But we'd Android with Symbian, Blackberry, Java, Flash Lite, Windows Mobile, and Palm (consumer choice is the idea). It would be nice if Apple would open up third party distribution of iPhone apps, because they'd get a lot more downloads (and sell more phones) if they did. As this app store world evolves beyond boutiques into a mix of boutiques and Walmart's, Apple will have to decide if they want to stay all alone.

    Contrary to your view, I think that a lot of top developers who now build in java, symbian, blackberry, etc. will add Android to their list, regardless of the handsets out there, just because they know that if Google's behind it, it will eventually get traction and they don't want to be last. Plus, having their app be big on Android, like iPhone, has PR spinoff that helps them get adoption on other platforms. Serious developers know that it took a long time for Windows Mobile to get traction too, but it's there today because somebody kept pouring in money.

    The bottom line is that Google has done a lot of good for the world by pushing the envelope further, regardless of the details of their business model. In particular, we salute their easy approval process and lack of "censorship", which (we humbly note) has always been GetJar's policy too.