Part 1: The independent developer community for the first time is becoming the mobile innovation powerhouse
Let’s be clear, we are certainly a long way from the form of perfect competition found on the internet, where the best one (or the one kicking off the network effect first) wins, regardless of size. But for the first time, we are truly on our way.
The Silicon Valley developer community is quickly becoming a center of innovation for mobile. That is nothing new for the online world, but it is completely new for the mobile world. In the last decade, mobile innovations came mostly from Europe (especially Finland), Korea, Japan and Taiwan, and some large U.S. companies outside Silicon Valley. The Valley didn’t get into the game because Silicon Valley developers did not have a platform to work with that allowed them to fairly compete against large sized players. The iPhone AppStore changes that dramatically. While an approval process for new apps still exists on the iPhone, the time to deploy apps went from about 18 months to a few weeks. Consumers are responding to the ease of use as well. 200 million downloads occurred in little over 100 days. Suddenly, we are past the (previously very popular) discussion “Do consumers really want to do anything else besides calling and texting on their cell phones?” The mobile web is also becoming significant. Apple has only been on the mobile market for 16 months, and the iPhone’s web traffic is already exceeding that of the most established smartphone makers.