Analyst firm Research2Guidance studied download numbers for all the major mobile apps stores and it has some choice words for Apple and Android - they are over hyped.
Research2Guidance says that the results from its second quarter 2011 smartphone application monitoring report indicate that applications published on the "lesser" app stores (Windows Phone Marketplace, BlackBerry App World, OVI Store) generate significantly more downloads compared to the Apple App Store. It is a gutsy statement to call Apple and Android "over-hyped" but Research2Guidance does make an interesting point.
top 50 Android apps make up for a vast majority of downloads and usage. Hence, it stands to reason that the "average app" does get lost in the thousands of applications published to Android and iOS every week.The research firm says that the "average app" has a better chance to generate downloads on "non-hyped" platforms. Essentially what Research2Guidance is saying is that there are too many apps in the Android Market and Apple App Store. As we have seen from analytics firm Nielsen, the
"Significantly lower competition, yet a sufficiently large user base that desires apps, are the major reasons for this," the report said. "Symbian still retains, by far, the highest potential user base. Even though its users are incomparably less active than iOS's heavy downloaders, it still generates significant download volumes to Symbian publishers. This is largely because whilst Apple boasts of its 400,000 apps, the OVI store contains less than a tenth of that number."
To a certain extent, this bodes well for the would-be BlackBerry and Windows Phone app developers. They can carve out a decent living in the middle of the pack without having to perpetually try to jump to the top of the rankings. Popular apps on those platforms would do particularly well in comparison to middle of the road apps for Android and iOS.
Yet, the true money is still with Apple and Google. Between them, growth (from devices shipped and activated) is still skyrocketing. The chance to crack the leader board in the Apple App Store could mean millions of dollars for a small application startup. It is reminiscent of golf - do you go for the layup and and play it safe, or do you pick up the big dog driver and try to knock it on the green in one shot?