Although I’ve been tempted to own an iPhone since the day it launched, I’d held off doing so because AT&T is the sole carrier in the US and frankly – AT&T simply sucks. However, I finally caved in and got myself one a couple of weeks ago.
First and foremost – there’s no denying that the iPhone is an amazing device and singlehandedly can be attributed for jumpstarting the entire mobile platform market. From touch screen to the accelerometer to the appstore, it has pioneered an entire market in no time. Apple has gotten such a big headstart in terms of the application ecosystem that other players are going to have a tough time catching up. But while Apple continues to flaunt the 85000 + apps in its appstore in its TV ads, I’d say the number of meaningful apps in the appstore is much less than half that number.
When you leave out the gazillion fart apps, the lighter apps, the flashlight apps and the bikini babes apps, there are just very few worthwhile apps that warrant enough justification to be installed let alone used regularly.
To illustrate my point, take an example. SpeedDate, the dating site, has no less than 100+ apps listed in the appstore. From religion based dating to geo based dating, they have an app simply for every US state / religion that you can think of. A simple search for ‘fart’ in the Appstore yields several hundreds of results.
Beyond these stupid apps, majority of the apps are ‘nice to have’. Very few would fall into the ‘must have’ category. All these apps make the appstore such a crowded place that it takes so much effort to find the true gems.
By allowing all sorts of junk apps, I think the appstore is becoming more of a crapstore. If the influx of such apps continues, it could actually become a downfall for Apple and in fact competitors could use that as leverage – by being more selective on what apps get approved.
What do you think ? Is Apple shooting itself in the foot by approving all these stupid apps ?