Last week was a big week for the iphone app community. Apple unveiled some big things with the release of the Iphone OS 3.0 including peer-to-peer bluetooth play and more robust features for pricing apps including purchase within apps and subscription models.
While the possibilities are huge, the reality is that for app programmers, it is harder than ever to really make your app stand out. In their presentation apple featured individual programmers who have had success with iphone apps, but as more bigger players join the game it is going to become increasingly difficult for individuals to develop successful apps.
“With more than 6,700 games on the iPhone, and more than 2,000 of those free, according to Mobclix, it’s becoming harder for developers to draw users to their games. Venture-funded companies such as Ngmoco, Zynga and Social Gaming Network are moving in fast. If your game dips below the top 100 games, it’s almost impossible for users to discover. Apple highlights cool games on its web site, but being selected is like winning the lottery. While viral social games spread from friend to friend, it’s easy to get lost.” - Venture Beat
And that’s just games. There are now over 25,000 apps on the app store. It is also important to note that there are currently only 17Million iphones and 30million devices with the iphone OS (phones plus ipod touch). The total market potential is still huge.
Keith Lee, chief executive of startup Booyah, predicted that the iPhone and iPod Touch installed base would reach more than 100 million by the end of 2010. That’s far faster than the nearly six years it took for the Nintendo DS to reach the same number.
The growth is a lot to get excited about but as a programmer or a company with a new app, how will you make your app stand out? How will you embed word of mouth and viral spread into your design upfront?