In the evening of our lives, few things strike us as revolutionary.
But if anything deserves the characterization of revolutionary, it’s Apple’s App Store.
Launched just three months back, Apple’s App Store has become wildly popular.
So popular, according to Apple that users have downloaded over 100 million applications in three months.
Yes, folks that’s 100 million.
And your truly has contributed in a tiny way to that 100 million count. We’ve downloaded several free applications like the New York Times, AOL Radio, Bloomberg, Showtimes, Now Playing, Wikipanion and some paid applications like Panchang and India News.
The App Store lets iPhone 3G and upgraded iPod touch users download applications wirelessly across a whole bunch of categories and use them immediately. Of course, the applications can also be downloaded via Apple’s iTunes and then synced to the iPhone 3G or iPod touch.
Apple said Tuesday that over 3,000 applications are available on the App Store (we counted 2,796 but Apple may not have updated the stats) with 90% priced at less than $10 and some 600 that are free.
What does it mean for Microsoft, Nokia, Sony Ericsson, LG & Blackberry?
Microsoft’s Zune music player is of course completely f*&^%$#. With an estimatedÂ market share of 2.4% in the U.S. compared to 73.4% for the iPod (according to NPD), the Zune has no hope. During our countless visits to Best Buy and Circuit City, we’ve never seen any one playing with the Zune.
The success of the App Store, the easy-to-use iTunes store and the growing iPod/iPhone 3G ecosystem can only make things worse for the folks at Redmond.
Notwithstanding the recent Zune product refresh, Microsoft is just wasting its time and money in a futile battle.
Microsoft has to accept that the entertainment device game – just like the Search game, where it lost to Google – is over.
Developers tend to follow consumers (in this case application downloads), which means that with more downloads we’ll see more developers flock to the iPhone/iPod touch making it very difficult for other device vendors like Nokia, Sony Ericsson and LG to gain or maintain marketshare unless they introduce some revolutionary feature. But as we said at the outset, revolutions are rare.