why is app pricing so elastic?

At the end of January, Distimo released a report which I suspect many app developers found disturbing. Backed with substantial data and analysis, the report demonstrated that drops in app pricing resulted in substantial boosts in downloads. We're not talking a small jump here:

"When the price drops for iPhone apps, on average, cumulative downloads grow by 1,665 percent for five days following the decrease."

1,665%? That is a remarkable increase. (Fascinatingly, the comparable boost for iPad downloads is a mere 871%, which Distimo attributes to the higher price of iPads, and an associated lower price elasticity.)

Are app developers rapidly headed toward the problems of content creators, who can't seem to get paid for their work?

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Apple: is being a great curator enough? (part II)

Yesterday I wrote about the growing parity between iOS and Android. Summarizing where I think we are currently, and the key question to ask of Apple:

  • If most major points of differentiation are erased; 
  • the cost of Android devices is lower;
  • the selection of Android devices is much broader; and
  • sales channel loyalty is somewhere between neutral and favorable to Android,

 ...how does Apple sustain market share?

Apple's profits are driven by device sales. The world is moving to the cloud, as Amazon and Google knew years ago. Devices are necessary as smooth portals to services and data in that cloud, but device margin is not the sustaining business opportunity.

The competition will therefore be fought on "curated experiences"--who can most successfully integrate a solution which combines device, user interface, and cloud data storage / services?

When the business opportunity is phrased this way, things look better--but not great--for Apple. They historically have not built particularly good software (tried the new iTunes yet?), and they have almost no foothold in services (no, Maps doesn't count, and MobileMe is dead).

But Apple makes gorgeous hardware and does transcendant UI design, which continues to captivate consumers. My thinking is that this simply doesn't add up to the market share they currently enjoy.

In fact, this sounds ever more like the desktop / laptop business strategy they have now. The problem is that  OS X has roughly 10% market share. Where will iOS settle?


Apple: is being a great curator enough? (Part I)

Fascinating data from Kantar came out yesterday, in which their analysis says that iOS not only halted its decline, but raised its sales share to 53.3% in 2012 vs. Android's 41.9% (a 10.9% YOY decline).

I would not have predicted this, especially given my experience on Android over the past four months. I'm inclined to believe the theory that this is simply the result of Q4 iPhone 5 sales rather than any indicator of a long-term trend. Why am I skeptical?

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Last week I wrote about my disappointment in Android--specifically why, as an early adopter, I resisted the siren call of the OS.

As 2012 ticks by, big changes are happening for Android, and they are called Google, Amazon and Samsung. As a consequence of these changes, I set my iPhone down and bought a Samsung Galaxy S3. To summarize the rest of this post: I’m not going back.

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Late Adoption to Android Pays Off - Part I

I can say with equal parts pride and embarrassment that I am an early adopter across a range of technologies. Some of this is driven by passion for technology; some is driven by professional interest; some is driven by my impatience for my gadgets to do what I want them to do. (Here’s where I insert a plug for my friend Daniel Wilson’s book “Where’s My Jetpack?”). I’m here to tell you it’s finally time to try Android.

Click to read more ...