Apple certainly bested Microsoft and Google when it came to the rise of the iPhone and its App store. Obviously learning from its success with iTunes, Apple recognized that hardware sales is nice, coupling it with easy to download content is gold! And others have quickly tried to duplicate this model. Apple remains number 1.
My son recently upgraded his Nintendo DS to a DSi and while I am not one to use it, it needed setup and authorized access to our wireless home network. And then I saw that there is a Nintendo store capable of downloading games to his device. And yet his preference remains to go to Game Stop or Target to pick up new games. So how does Nintendo downloads compare to the Apple App Store; I am not quite sure. And is the iPhone and iPod really trying to compete with the DS. The former seems much more for casual gamers as time wasters; the latter device for more serious gaming. "Apple's platform has attracted heavyweight gaming shops such as Electronic Arts (ERTS), Gameloft, and Sega. And it has allowed important new studios to blossom from scratch, such as Ngmoco, whose Rolando franchise -- including the new Rolando 2 -- may still be the best example of iPhone-unique gameplay, via the phone's multi-touch display and motion sensor." Is Apple looking to push itself further down this path or will Nintendo see this as an opportunity to add phone capabilities to its hardware?
I have yet upgraded my iPod to the new iTouch nor have I purchased an iPhone. For me, its primary use, as a phone, is less appealing. I was once on the AT&T network and converted to Verizon because of better coverage and less dropped calls. And I have heard from other iPhone users that the phone capability still remains weak. Until Apple allows for iPhone to work in the Verizon network, I cannot yet make the switch. Still I appreciate its success and may just upgrade my iPod soon enough.
The success of the Apple App Store goes directly to understanding the consumer need for ease of use, inexpensive pricing, and ergonomic appeal. Essentially they have made it so easy that anyone can master it. And that is their greatest achievement.