Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 24th Jan 2017 19:22 UTC
Apple

Last year marked the fifth year of Tim Cook’s reign, and year 3 of "Tim Cook's Apple". With recent technological shifts, Apple is at a crossroads of sorts; therefore, I believe a pre-mortem is expedient.

This is a great article.

I, too, wonder if Apple is so stuck on "let's just slap apps on it" that it serves to detriment their efforts. Virtually all their product introductions lately centred around slapping apps on existing, boring hardware and hope for the best. I'm not sure if the linked article's suggestions are the right way to go, but I do know that Apple places more faith in apps than is really warranted.

A cold and harsh truth Apple doesn't seem to grasp: nobody cares about apps. Apps are done. People have a small set of apps they use every day, usually the big name apps such as Facebook and Twitter, and really - that's it. Aside from us nerdier people, nobody browses through the App Store or Google Play, filled with anticipation for what they might find. If you really break it down, I'm pretty sure most people use maybe 2-3 apps daily, and any others maybe once per month.

That's really not something you want to bank your product strategy on.

Thread beginning with comment 640021
To view parent comment, click here.
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
RE: Wow - really Thom?
by Tony Swash on Wed 25th Jan 2017 10:32 UTC in reply to "Wow - really Thom?"
Tony Swash
Member since:
2009-08-22

Apple App Store revenue trend:

Calendar 2014 - $15 billion

Calendar 2015 - $20 billion

Calendar 2016 - just shy of $30 billion

Apple’s revenue from App sales was $8.8 billion up 49% year over year

January 1st 2017 had nearly $240 million spent that day ($72 million to Apple)

Doesn’t look to me like the data supports the notion that “nobody cares about apps.”

Apps economics are different to the economics of the old boxed software days, most apps are so cheap that buying them and then abandoning them is simply no big deal. I ended up buying half a dozen pedometer apps before I found the one that I actually preferred to use in the real world, and the whole thing cost me peanuts. I have dozens and dozens of apps I almost never use. Quite a lot aren’t loaded either because I decided they were not of use or but more commonly it’s because their use scenario was very limited (Example: I only load the Ljubljana map app when I visit that city). A hard core of a few apps get daily use (London tube, traffic and bus apps, the pedometer, Microsoft Pix, Instagram, etc) and are now essential to how I live.

Apple’s super healthy app ecosystem, is part of what makes the iOS platform a success, but there are many other factors. The brand reputation is a key one but I also think Apple’s retail network (couple with its generous customer care culture) is often over looked.

The ‘apps aren’t important’ meme started when it became apparent that the pattern of developer support for Android and iOS was not going to replicate the old historical pattern of developer support for for Windows and Mac. Once it became clear that the ecosystem advantage of iOS was not going to be eroded by higher Android unit sales the message became ‘apps aren’t important’. They are - but so are a lot of other things.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Wow - really Thom?
by Thom_Holwerda on Wed 25th Jan 2017 10:54 in reply to "RE: Wow - really Thom?"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Doesn’t look to me like the data supports the notion that “nobody cares about apps.”


75% (iOS) and 90% (Android) of that application store revenue comes from mobile games.

Games are not apps. Stop equating the two. You have to be blind to still claim that apps on mobile are thriving.

Edited 2017-01-25 10:55 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[3]: Wow - really Thom?
by Tony Swash on Wed 25th Jan 2017 11:05 in reply to "RE[2]: Wow - really Thom?"
Tony Swash Member since:
2009-08-22

"Doesn’t look to me like the data supports the notion that “nobody cares about apps.”


75% (iOS) and 90% (Android) of that application store revenue comes from mobile games.

Games are not apps. Stop equating the two. You have to be blind to still claim that apps on mobile are thriving.
"

Silly semantics.

Remove the category of apps that is a the biggest seller and then point at the remaining rump and say its reduced size is evidence that the app ecosystem is dying. Nobody in the real world, or with an ounce of common sense, cares what category an app falls into, they just know whether they want it and are interested if it is it available on any given platform.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Wow - really Thom?
by Tony Swash on Wed 25th Jan 2017 10:58 in reply to "RE: Wow - really Thom?"
Tony Swash Member since:
2009-08-22

I meant to add to my essential app list the wonderful 'UK Map' app that means I have a complete set of detailed Ordinace Survey maps on my phone that doesn't depend on network data.

Reply Parent Score: 3