Do the Size of Mobile App Stores Still Matter?

According to Mplayit CEO Michael Powers, the size of a mobile platform’s app store is now mostly irrelevant. Facebook-based mobile app store Mplayit took a close look at the most popular apps for Android, BlackBerry and the iPhone and found that the most popular apps on all three platforms tend to be very similar. As the popular app stores continue to grow, users on all the major platforms also drift towards the same known brands and hits like EverNote and Pandora.

Mplayit also found that one of the fastest growing app categories across all the major platforms are barcode scanners. Apps like ShopSavvy and RedLaser have clearly hit upon an unfulfilled need.

Size Doesn’t Matter

According to Powers, asking how many apps exist for a given platform is now a moot question. All the major platforms now offer more than enough apps and as long as people can find the apps they are looking for – and as long as these apps are good – most consumers will be happy. Most users simply don’t need 50 different apps to write their grocery lists.

Looking at Mplayit’s list of the most popular apps across the top platforms, it also becomes clear that quite a few of these categories are being dominated by known brands like Shazam, Pandora, Evernote and Facebook. Mplayit, of course, is in the business of giving app recommendations across platforms and doesn’t fail to note that it’s own store is a good alternative for finding apps outside of the standard top 20 charts.

Or Does It?

To some degree, Powers’ comments about the size of today’s app stores rings true. Maybe it really doesn’t matter that the Android store only features about 20,000 apps and that the Apple App Store now holds more than 100,000. Maybe it is true that consumers tend to gravitate towards the same brands on all platforms.

At the same time, though, having more apps in the store also means that there is a more active developer ecosystem around a given platform. While iPhone developers rightly gripe about Apple’s approval process, we’ve seen a lot more innovative apps for the iPhone than for Android.

Is the size of the Android market holding you back from making the switch? Do you think Android has enough good apps that make up for the smaller app store? Do you think the quality of today’s BlackBerry apps is good enough? Feel free to let us know in the comments.

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