Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 21st Oct 2013 22:33 UTC
Hardware, Embedded Systems

The French Minitel never ceases to amaze me.

In 1984 the government allowed developers to create services for the Minitel. The government took a 30% cut and passed the rest on to developers (sound familiar?) creating the world's first app store. From a user's perspective using apps on the Minitel was frictionless - you were just billed for what you used through your phone bill.


How big was this app store? In the nineties it was pulling in over a billion USD a year! This is an astronomical sum when you consider France's population size. Though the crossover point is near, the Minitel in its lifetime paid out more to developers than Apple has to iOS developers to date. Companies would advertise their apps in the subway, on highway billboards, and on television.

Amazing. This could very well be the first application store, something many people think is a new phenomenon invented by Apple.

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RE[5]: Success
by SeeM on Tue 22nd Oct 2013 07:50 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Success"
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You mean like the Nokia 7710, just to cite one example?

Iphone wasn't first smartphone that worked. It was first smartphone that was simply used by people. I have Palm Centro somewhere in the shelves. Nice Phone, lot of apps, including games, spreadheets, ebook readers, lauchers, etc... And, just like Windows Mobile and Symbian, it felt like the Amiga of smartphones. It worked and it worked well, but required you to know how to handle RAM usage by apps, repair reset loops, clearing sys directories after uninstalling unwanted aplications and synchronize trough some non-intuitive desktop apps (especially on Linux). Remember all kickstart upgrades, huge disk controllers or additional ram on the left side of A500, or constant incompatibilities both in software and hardware? That's somewhat like smartphones before Apple did iphone.

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