As competition grows, Apple's iPhone still has App Store advantage

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
In the face of new competitors like Google's Nexus One, Apple's iPhone still has the advantage with more than 100,000 applications and 3 billion downloads from its App Store.



Officially announced Tuesday, the Nexus One has been dubbed by Google as a "superphone," one the company hopes will expand the Android platform and slow some of the momentum of Apple's iPhone. But in a note to investors this week, analyst Mark Moskowitz of J.P. Morgan said it's the iPhone App Store that will keep it ahead of its peers.



"We continue to believe that Apple's iPhone should benefit from the partial buffer of its App Store, which is replete with a developer base seemingly more focused on mobile applications for the iPhone versus other competitive products," Moskowitz said.



He noted that mobile apps help to define the user experience, as customers now expect to use their smartphones for voice, e-mail, games, Internet, music and more. As the market leader in terms of apps, Apple has a distinct advantage in offering the software users have come to expect on their phone.



Similarly, Gene Munster, senior research analyst with Piper Jaffray, said Wednesday that though Google's Nexus One will present increased competition for the iPhone, it likely will not slow the momentum of Apple's handset.



"Apple's App Store has over 100k apps, while Android offers 20k," Munster said. "Internationally, the iPhone is available in 77 countries, while Android devices are available in 48 countries."



Android, Google's mobile operating system, was revealed this week to have user interest and satisfaction approaching the levels of the iPhone, according to a new study. Of those who plan to buy a smartphone in the next three months, 21 percent are interested in an Android device, while 28 percent would prefer the iPhone.



Apple's commanding lead in the mobile software space has led to a blistering pace of downloads from its App Store. Tuesday, Apple announced that its App Store downloads topped 3 billion. It was just 99 days before that when Apple announced the 2 billion threshold had been crossed. Over that span, applications were downloaded at a rate of more than 10.1 million per day.



One department where Google's newly announced Nexus One and others do have an advantage over the iPhone, however, is the total cost of ownership. BillShrink.com put together a comparison of the monthly plan costs with the Nexus One on T-Mobile U.S. versus the iPhone 3GS on AT&T. For an unlimited plan, Nexus One users would pay $2,579, compared to $3,799 over two years for the iPhone on AT&T. The average AT&T iPhone plan runs $2,839 over the 24-month period, while the Nexus One and T-Mobile cost $2,339.



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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 137
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,743member
    And UI advantage, and iTunes advantage, and the One-device-one-OS closed, controlled system advantage, etc.
  • Reply 2 of 137
    Number of a available apps is meaningless. of the 100000 apps on the iPhone, only a handful are truly useful. Most are merely links to websites or fart apps.



    And having TOO many to choose from makes it more difficult to weed out the crap. The quantity on the iPhone is starting to become a problem more than a benefit.



    That being said, the iPhone is still the easiest to use, by far. The other phones do the same things, but nowhere near as gracefully.
  • Reply 3 of 137
    g3prog3pro Posts: 669member
    The lack of voice-input in all text entry fields, multi-tasking, user-replaceable battery, user-upgradable memory, competent carrier, and cost-effective call/data plans are huge detractors for the iPhone.



    The tiny screen size and low resolution don't help either.



    Apple has some serious catching-up to do if it wants to compete in the future.
  • Reply 4 of 137
    aaarrrggghaaarrrgggh Posts: 1,572member
    Has anybody seen good battery life comparisons when running AIM or Google Talk in the background on the Android and WebOS phones? I'm curious if multi-tasking will make it to the iPhone next round...
  • Reply 5 of 137
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,743member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bjojade View Post




    And having TOO many to choose from makes it more difficult to weed out the crap.



    There are filters such as most popular, top paid, top grossing, etc. Overall and for each category. Chances are, if it's a "top app", a lot of users liked it, ergo it's probably good.



    You should refer to those when trying to weed out apps. It's pretty simple.



    If you want to find a particular app then use the above in conjunction with search.
  • Reply 6 of 137
    aaarrrggghaaarrrgggh Posts: 1,572member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bjojade View Post


    Number of a available apps is meaningless. of the 100000 apps on the iPhone, only a handful are truly useful. Most are merely links to websites or fart apps.



    And having TOO many to choose from makes it more difficult to weed out the crap. The quantity on the iPhone is starting to become a problem more than a benefit.



    That being said, the iPhone is still the easiest to use, by far. The other phones do the same things, but nowhere near as gracefully.



    While too many does make it hard, there are quite a few interesting and innovative applications for the iPhone. I'm sure the same holds true for Android, but from a developer's perspective your chances of monetizing an application are grossly inferior based on total sales and market penetration.
  • Reply 7 of 137
    g3prog3pro Posts: 669member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post


    There are filters such as most popular, top paid, top grossing, etc. Overall and for each category. Chances are, if it's a "top app", a lot of users liked it, ergo it's probably good.



    You should refer to those when trying to weed out apps. It's pretty simple.



    Just because a lot of people download a fart app or a flashlight app does not make it a "must-have".
  • Reply 8 of 137
    rindrind Posts: 66member
    So total cost is the same for Verizon and AT&T.

    Comparing cost of AT&T to T-Mobile isnt a good comparison.



    AT&T service is Excellent , T-Mobile Network is Good , when you can get service.



    Oh and we can Multi-task with an iPhone.



    Have more Apps then we need is a good thing no matter how you look at it.
  • Reply 9 of 137
    I'm not convinced that the appstore advantage is quite as big of an advantage as first made out. As been mentioned previously, the number of usable apps is small. The upshot of this is that while it might take a long time for a competitor to reach the sheer numbers that the app store has, it won't take nearly as long to build a critical mass of useful applications.



    Secondly, the low cost of the apps in the app store is actually going to be a disadvantage in this case. Many people wouldn't move over to the Mac not necessarily because of the volume of software they have on their pc's, but rather the financial investment in those apps. However, if you have 20 apps on your iphone of which you've spent $15 to acquire, you are far more likely to leave them behind for what you consider a better platform even if you were forced to spend another $15 to acquire those same apps.



    Hopefully Apple is treading carefully here. The app store definitely gives them a leg up, but it's certainly not anything approaching an insurmountable lead.
  • Reply 10 of 137
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,594member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post


    And UI advantage, and iTunes advantage, and the One-device-one-OS closed, controlled system advantage, etc.



    And the iPod advantage. I think that the fact that the iPhone is an iPod is important for many people. The others have music players and there are ways to use iTunes, perhaps, but for the average user the itunes / ipod integration is important.



    On that note - I hope the next iteration of the iphone / itunes software will make synching simpler. With gmail / mobileMe and iTunes synching it is confusing to synch up multiple address books, calendars and email accounts
  • Reply 11 of 137
    g3prog3pro Posts: 669member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Rind View Post


    So total cost is the same for Verizon and AT&T.

    Comparing cost of AT&T to T-Mobile isnt a good comparison.



    AT&T service is Excellent , T-Mobile Network is Good , when you can get service.



    Oh and we can Multi-task with an iPhone.



    There is no multi-task on the iPhone.



    AT&T's service is absolutely terrible. Just listen to the millions complaining about drop calls and atrocious 3g coverage.
  • Reply 12 of 137
    ivan.rnn01ivan.rnn01 Posts: 1,822member
    All that takes us back to the dusty old question: why is Ubuntu incapable of beating Mac OS in marketshare?
  • Reply 13 of 137
    As is typical, the analysis fails to identify one unique advantage that the iPhone has over the competition: a sister device, the iPod touch.



    For every three iPhones, there are two iPod touches. That's an enormous user base of a much younger demographic (13-25) who are basically training for the iPhone. iPod touch users download considerably more apps than iPhone users as well.
  • Reply 14 of 137
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,743member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by g3pro View Post


    Just because a lot of people download a fart app or a flashlight app does not make it a "must-have".



    Depends on the category it's in. And there's something called ratings.



    Seriously, a friggin 10-year old could understand it. The average iPhone user isn't exactly up in arms over this non-existent problem.



    Just use the system that's there, LOL. You'll have a much easier time finding best-in-category apps.
  • Reply 15 of 137
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by g3pro View Post


    There is no multi-task on the iPhone.



    AT&T's service is absolutely terrible. Just listen to the millions complaining about drop calls and atrocious 3g coverage.



    Actually there is multitasking. You can talk while you do other stuff. Some apps, like mail and safari continue to run even when you switch away (try having the mail app fetch mail and while it still says "checking for mail" switch away to another app. If there is mail there, it will download it and do whatever alert you have enabled. Minor examples but there non the less.
  • Reply 16 of 137
    g3prog3pro Posts: 669member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bitWrangler View Post


    Actually there is multitasking. You can talk while you do other stuff. Some apps, like mail and safari continue to run even when you switch away (try having the mail app fetch mail and while it still says "checking for mail" switch away to another app. If there is mail there, it will download it and do whatever alert you have enabled. Minor examples but there non the less.



    As a percentage of total apps capable of multitasking, 0.002% is not going to cut it.
  • Reply 17 of 137
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,227member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bjojade View Post


    Number of a available apps is meaningless. of the 100000 apps on the iPhone, only a handful are truly useful. Most are merely links to websites or fart apps.



    And having TOO many to choose from makes it more difficult to weed out the crap. The quantity on the iPhone is starting to become a problem more than a benefit.




    Yes but proportionality would suggest that Android has a similar percentage of "fluff" apps that are fairly trivial and at only 20k apps that's still not a whole lot of choice.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by g3pro View Post


    The lack of voice-input in all text entry fields, multi-tasking, user-replaceable battery, user-upgradable memory, competent carrier, and cost-effective call/data plans are huge detractors for the iPhone.



    The tiny screen size and low resolution don't help either.



    Apple has some serious catching-up to do if it wants to compete in the future.



    Multitasking

    User replaceable battery

    Tiny low rez screen



    What PC rag did you pull this up from? These are mainly talking points that come from the press and not the consumers at large.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bitWrangler View Post


    Actually there is multitasking. You can talk while you do other stuff. Some apps, like mail and safari continue to run even when you switch away (try having the mail app fetch mail and while it still says "checking for mail" switch away to another app. If there is mail there, it will download it and do whatever alert you have enabled. Minor examples but there non the less.



    Of course ...anyone with a iPhone or a Touch knows that it's "3rd party ISV" that don't have access to multitasking. Apple's apps multitask pretty well. I will frequently open Mail up and then close it back down because I know it's still going to fetch my mail or do something similar with Safari.



    I'm sure Apple will go multitasking someday but they will seek to mitigate risks from poorly coded 3rd party apps and work on the battery management.
  • Reply 18 of 137
    g3prog3pro Posts: 669member
    Does anyone know how changing screen sizes and resolutions will affect coding for applications?
  • Reply 19 of 137
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bitWrangler View Post


    Actually there is multitasking. You can talk while you do other stuff. Some apps, like mail and safari continue to run even when you switch away (try having the mail app fetch mail and while it still says "checking for mail" switch away to another app. If there is mail there, it will download it and do whatever alert you have enabled. Minor examples but there non the less.



    Correct, there is multitaskinhg for native apple iPhone apps. But, what you don't have in the iPhone is multitasking for 3rd party apps.
  • Reply 20 of 137
    mactrippermactripper Posts: 1,328member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ivan.rnn01 View Post


    All that takes us back to the dusty old question: why is Ubuntu incapable of beating Mac OS in marketshare?



    If Ubuntu had Steve Jobs it would.



    Apple has risen from the dead, don't forget that.
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