Apple recently announced that there are now 100,000 Applications available on the iPhone App Store. Of these, there are over 16,000 games; which represent the most downloaded category of the store. Theres no longer just an app for that, theres at least ten. That being the case, you would expect the development of applications for this platform to start slowing down, right? Wrong.
The iPhone ecosphere is set to explode in 2010. Adobe, the creator of the very popular Flash platform, announced earlier this quarter that the new version of the Flash Professional CS5 developer tool would include the ability to port Flash applications directly to the iTunes platform. This tool is currently in Beta, and should be released early 2010. What this allows is a 1 million strong Flash developer base that till date did not have the knowledge to code for the iPhone to develop applications for this channel.
In particular it will allow the proliferation of Flash based games, which are very popular on the internet, on to the iPhone App Store. The only foreseeable limitation to the growth of applications in the store is Apples own approval process.
In addition, online DIY tools allow the quick creation of iPhone applications for standardized applications such as eBooks. This once again allows a route-to-publishing at a small fee chargeable to such service providers for those who are not iPhone developers.
The concern for developers is, of course, that their application or game will fail to get noticed or picked up by the store. However, the market for apps and games resembles the Chart Ranking' market for music, movies and other forms of entertainment. As a result, developers have the incentive to create as many applications, even if the majority of those have a low retailprice, in the hope of a single hit. Given the low barriers and costs of entry into the store, dont expect to see the growth of available applications slow down any time soon. The challenge remains for competing stores to offer an equally compelling model for developers; otherwise expect Apples dominance of this market to continue.