09 March 2009

One Shop to Rule Them All - or Maybe Not

What's going on in online mobile software business?

From myriad of small stand-alone one or two app websites, to operator controller Walled Gardens, to huge generic software stores (Handango), to manufacturer operated application stores (Apple AppStore, Android Market), to... what's next?

It's all about money. Developers, some of them, write software for money. Application stores were born, when some developers just couldn't figure out bookkeeping and tax systems. Some merged into megastores. Operators want their fare share, since they keep the system up and running. Manufacturers want to sell more hardware, maybe even get their own fare share of the software and services business.

Some developers are not happy about this. After so many fair shares taken in between, after so many forced restrictions and requirements, there is very little left for developers. There is more than just money: freedom, independence, self-expression. Latest software market revolutions are led by Cydia, to fight Apple's tight control, and potential "Android App Flea Market".

Nokia has been heavily criticized about being late in the online application store rush. Maybe they let others make mistakes first, learn from them, and then make things right. Sometimes it works, sometimes not.

Let's see how Apple and Android deal with the new situation. Let's see how long Nokia waits.