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Posted by Ian Fogg on February 17, 2009
At MWC, multiple companies have launched mobile application stores that seek to build upon Apple's iPhone success (Microsoft, Nokia, Orange, mPortico, Surfkitchen, Adtonic, PocketGear and others). These join existing announced app stores (including RIM, Google Android, Palm).
These are more than simple me-too initiatives.
Mobile app stores are not new. Palm, Handango and even Nokia with their Download! service pre-date Apple. Like the iPod, Apple was a follower -- rather than first mover -- that succeeded due to terrific execution and a clear strategy and market position. Apple benefits from the ease of commercial iPhone application distribution. Developers now prosper in a virtuous circle:
To succeed, owners much ensure that their store's convenience to consumers is high. Superb execution will be critical.