Monday, September 06, 2010

The Great App Bubble? I don't think so...

Another day, another "article" that gathers random facts and applies some strange statistics to it, only to come to some conclusion that, frankly, I don't see.

In this article, the blogger named Aaron Shapiro aims to take a stab at Apple's App Store, claiming that we're now in an App Bubble, that everybody wants to have an App whether it will make them money or not. 

In his first claim, that apps don't make money for developers, the author simply takes the grand total of revenue for all the apps and divides it by the number of apps available, while at the same time guesstimating what a 'typical' app would cost to make to conclude that the cost of a typical app is greater than the average revenue, and that therefore no profit can be made. First, there is no "typical" app, and can't see how you come to that "typical" cost of $35000 when most of the apps share a common platform on which they are built. Have a look at the list of recently released 'music' apps to find out how many of them are simply copies with different content and you'll see what I mean.

Second, not every app is made to be profitable. Sometimes the apps aren't the products being sold, but simply exist to support the products being sold. I bought a WiThings scale the other day, and installed the free app that comes with it. Does that mean that the app doesn't make them money? Of course it does, because it provides value to the product that is really being sold: the scale. Or have a look at all the apps that guide you through a music festival, or a museum. There's plenty of examples of apps that don't even need ads to be profitable.

In his second claim, Aaron states that apps don't make money for Apple. While that isn't a false claim, I don't see how it supports his idea of an App Bubble in the first place.

The rest of the article is an amalgam of unrelated facts and trivia, with little or no substance to validate his claim. "Marketers are spending money on iDevice apps at the expense of improving their mobile Web sites that everyone with a smart phone can access." How many? Who? Of course, there will always be people making the wrong decisions. Does that imply a climate? Of course not.

What's needed are bloggers that don't give in to primal urges to come up with sensationalist ideas about the world we live in and then try to validate their claims by retrofitting unrelated and unsupportive facts.

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