Mobile Apps a Fad or Soon to be ‘As Big as the Internet’?

July 20, 2009

(ChattahBox)— The future of mobile apps was the subject of debate this past week at the MobileBeat conference in San Francisco, with developers searching for a way to earn a living in an increasingly crowded apps market, while taking pot shots at Apple’s App store.

Depending on whom you spoke to, apps were predicted to become “as big as the Internet” or they were derided as a fad, with powerful Web browsers predicted to supplant apps in popularity.

“Apps will be as big if not bigger than the Internet,” said Ilja Laurs, CEO of GetJar, a major application store. “The full blossom will come in ten years and mobile apps will become as popular as websites are today with consumers,” said Laurs.

However, app developers are scrambling to make money from their apps that often fade from popularity over time. Laurs noted that about “90 percent” of all application developers fail to earn a living from their work.

Industry representatives attending the conference at once envied the success of Apple’s App store, while criticizing the business model as “flawed,” relying on a catalogue of “one hit wonders.”

Lee Williams, executive director of the Symbian Foundation, sees a future where an “iBeer drinking app or a candle that flickers in different colors,” will give way to more relevant apps that would “help enrich your life in some way.”

Google’s engineering vice president Vic Gundotra, was on hand to promote the future of Web browsers, which he predicted will become more powerful in the future, providing a platform for services and applications.

Referring to App stores as a fad, Gundotra believes the “…web has won and over the next several years, the browser, for economic reasons almost, will become the platform that matters and certainly that’s where Google is investing.”

Whatever the future may hold for App stores, the popular mobile applications are not about to disappear anytime soon. Apple’s App store offers over 65,000 applications and it just reached a milestone of 1.5 billion downloads.



3 Responses to “Mobile Apps a Fad or Soon to be ‘As Big as the Internet’?”

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