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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i know some of the biggest apple lovers around and not one thinks that apple invented the app store. even in america cell phones had these sorts of app marketplaces in the 90's.

Just give them a few years until they think they can get away with it. Fifteen-twenty years ago, even the most die-hard Apple cheerleaders wouldn't have been stupid enough to claim that Apple invented the mouse or the "clamshell" laptop form factor... yet I've seen both claims made, just on OSNews, in recent years.

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