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App Store Explosion Creates New eCommerce Trend

15 April 2010 - 09:20 by Graham Miller

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Most of us will have heard of application stores ("app stores") for mobile phone platforms and many of us will have used at least one of them to download a phone app while doing some safe shopping online via a mobile. The best known of these mobile phone platform app stores is undoubtedly the Apple App Store, from which consumers can download apps for the Apple iPhone with a huge selection of apps from which to choose, ranging from apps which track the movements of celebrities through to apps which simply allow you to locate the nearest public toilet!
 
But now it seems as though Apple's dominance over the app store market may be under threat as the eCommerce world is seeing something of an app store explosion. According to figures published by the Wireless Industry Partnership, the number of application stores selling their wares to consumers on the web has actually risen from 34 to 68 in only a few months.

Consumers may now look to app stores such as the Java store, the Android Market and the Google Apps Marketplace for apps to assist with safe shopping online. App stores for hardware platforms are also becoming plentiful, with app stores by phone giants Nokia and Motorola available, among others, as well as app stores for e-readers such as the Amazon Kindle.

Social networking sites have got in on the act too, with Twitter opening OneForty, whilst Facebook also has its own app store. Many of these allow third party developers to produce apps to sell in the stores, allowing these developers to monetise the apps they create.

Nor are these app stores restricted to mobile phone applications, although that remains one of the primary drivers behind today's application stores, thanks to trendsetters such as the Apple App Store. Now, app store developers are targeting a wide range of audiences, representing a very significant opportunity for online retailers to add their own apps, creating a further route to market in a smartphone-driven world that is seeing explosive growth.