Google delivered its first phone, the T-Mobile G1, built by HTC and sold by T-Mobile. While it is not clear how well it is doing, HTC says it will sell more than one million by the end of the year.
The competition is intensifying with Apple and RIM, (Blackberry), and now Palm have also entered the fray with their new Pre phone, not to mention devices to be sold by Samsung, Huawei and Motorola in 2009. Ultimately, it may be the developers who decide which platforms succeed, and it is still unclear how successful the Android Market will be. To date, it has only distributed free applications, but that will change in the new year as Google opens it up to application sales. Interestingly, the revenues will be split by developers and carriers, unlike the model used by the Apple’s App store, which shares none with the carrier.
The iPhone app store may seem like an attractive option for those looking to make a quick killing. Since July 11, when the store opened, Apple has averaged nearly 2.1 million downloads and 69 new apps a day. Of course, it’s worth noting that some of these applications are free—it’s unclear exactly how many of the 10,000 Apple charges for.
Apple last provided figures on Oct. 21 during the company’s earnings report. At that time, it said it had 200 million downloads and 5,500 Apps. Since then, the number of apps has jumped by 45 percent, while downloads grew by 50 percent. The store has grown significantly since launching July 11. Initially, it had 500 Apps; within three days, there were 800 apps and 10 million downloads. Big sales, however, seem to rely very heavily on whether or not your app can make it into the top 50 selling apps. In order to get a real boost in sales, you have to crack the top tier to build the momentum you need to generate more sales. More exposure creates more momentum which creates more sales, and so on, until the app is sitting pretty in that golden stratum of the Top Ten.
O2 UK launched Litmus in December 08 – a community uniting developers frustrated by industry’s laborious approval processes, with early-adopter customers keen to help test new products. It’s not exactly an app store, but it will speed up developer relations, could form the basis for Telefonica’s global application retail ambitions, and may yet help open up Apple’s iPhone development process, too.