Apple must be laughing their butts off

So Android app developers are not happy with sales of their apps on this iPhone-competitor platform. Not enough buyers. No exposure for the apps. Fractured marketplace. Highly variable hardware. Proprietary carrier issues.

This is PRECISELY what Apple side-stepped in creating the iPhone and the App Store. All iPhones — including the iPod Touch — use the same store, the same software, the same screens (for now). There’s a good set of tools for discovery of apps and Apple makes an effort to promote new things, popular things and so on. Users — and there are millions of them in the U.S. alone — evangelize apps to one another (I know: I’ve done it repeatedly and just did it yesterday).

The reason Apple took the MP3 player market by storm was not the device, no matter how awesome iPods were and are. It was the integrated device+store+PC experience. Simple, clean, reliable, fun — works like you’d expect it to (intuitively). They’ve repeated their success with the iPhone OS and the resulting App universe that’s growing. It’s a CLOSED PLATFORM and it’s working BECAUSE it’s a closed platform.

Bitch all you want about the (admittedly bad) App approval process, but there’s still no better mobile app or mobile phone system with which to associate your brand.

Android is a remarkable achievement and I expect to see a lot of great stuff on the platform in the years to come. But it’s the Linux of the mobile device world: highly capable, but too fractured and user-hostile and taken over by ruthless corporations or market-clueless techies to be broadly enjoyed by a majority of users. It’s too HARD. It’s not intuitive across the board.

Android app developers might make a killing later with vertically-integrated apps tailored to specific industries. Or maybe not — it didn’t save the Pocket PC / Windows Mobile world. It didn’t even save the Palm Treo, a killer device in its day. And for every vertical app on Android, you can replicate it on the iPhone pretty easily.

Really, I struggle to see an Android advantage that can consistently and broadly beat the “closed” app platform on the iPhone OS. And part of that is because Android, despite it’s open source roots, is still yet another closed platform. Closed hardware. Closed carrier relationship.

The Android’s promise cannot take off until it becomes the Windows of the mobile device world. That might happen. But not anytime soon.

Meanwhile, app developers: stick to the iPhone and sweat it out with the rest of the beaten masses trying to get apps through the iTunes Store. There’s more money and more recognition for a job well done.

Posted via web from jmproffitt

Irresponsible acts of self-immolation

The future of media isn’t in The Wall Street Journal, no matter how much value it provides society. No, the future is in the web, fast-paced blogs, and social media. The future is in companies that realize that news a day old is, well, a day old. The future is in information discovery, not in hiding content.

Interesting that a core point of the article is that not only is Murdoch’s plan short-sighted and likely to tear apart News Corp, but that Murdoch has a moral obligation as a media leader to prevent the kind of self destruction he’s contemplating.

Personally, I have no idea whether de-listing in Google and signing up for a Microsoft Bing deal is a good financial idea or not. But I relish the chance to witness an attempt. It would be fascinating to watch and I wouldn’t shed a tear over Murdoch committing business suicide, if that’s what it becomes.

Posted via web from jmproffitt

Why social media and advertising don’t mix

One of the most popular ideas amongst social marketers is the idea that we will listen to commercial endorsements from our friends because we trust them. Thus, by putting brands into our friends’ mouths, we will somehow trust those brands more by extension. Not for the first time, the marketers have got it backwards. The reason we trust our friends so strongly is precisely because we know that their opinions are not commercially motivated. The moment that ceases to be the case – or we even suspect that it has ceased to be the case – the bond of trust between friends is destroyed. The cocktail party is ruined, society crumbles, the apes take over the world.

Hat tip to @redrummy, who pointed me to this post. Most of the article (and most of Paul Carr’s writing) is overwrought to what he believes is a comical degree. It’s not. But this little nugget nails it.

Posted via web from jmproffitt

Mobile advertising growth exploding

The news of Google buying AdMob had some people scratching their heads today. But scratch no more: Silicon Alley Insider posted this informative little chart showing AdMob’s mobile ad sales skyrocketing in a down market.

People: Ads are moving online, and that includes mobile devices like the iPod Touch and the iPhone, not to mention the new Android phones from Google and partners.

If Google can capture both AdMob as a core mobile ad sales service *AND* a huge share of the mobile phone / mobile computer market (hello, Chrome OS!), they can dominate this space just as they dominate online search advertising.

Posted via web from jmproffitt