Wednesday, May 20, 2009

iPhone Platform Dominates In Location-Aware Applications

Despite supporting GPS for less than a year, Apple's iPhone offers more location-aware applications -- and at better prices -- than its main smartphone competitor, RIMM. The "which platform has the most apps" metric is interesting to see applied in Apple's favor. Long have Apple's fans argued that the fact Apple's platform had fewer applications didn't mean the platform wasn't as useful or as capable, and suggested that a quality-not-quantity approach should be considered. However, the iPhone allows Apple to harness the quantity metric in its favor -- something it hasn't been able to do since ... oh ... the iPod. (Being squeezed down to under 90% share is a problem more historically associated with Microsoft.)

Interestingly, Apple's volume appeal seems reinforced by a decision by Wal-Mart to create Apple sections in its retail stores. Part of an initiative to create larger, more interactive electronics sections, the Apple sales channel will apparently seek to add high-margin electronics (and maybe subscription kickbacks) to the volume retailer's historic low-margin/high-volume commodity business.

Time was, Apple's absence in the big-box stores was cited as evidence it was still a niche product. Maybe Apple is becoming more mainstream than we'd expected.

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