It’s Not Too Late To Develop a Mobile App (part 2)

Last week we took a look at the mobile app landscape for new developers and, as luck would have it, Distimo’s most recent report (.pdf) on the mobile app economy considered many of the same issues.

Were you to look at strictly the opening bullet points, one might be led to believe that this is in fact not a good time to be a new publisher in the mobile app industry, and many of the bloggers reading it seem to arrive at the same conclusion.  MobileWorldLive writes that “new apps are struggling to gain traction,” and TechCrunch concludes that “the app stores are getting full.”

The devil, as usual, is in the details.  Distimo’s first bullet point reads:  “Of the top 250 publishers in the Apple App Store for iPhone in the U.S. only 2% are new publishers, compared to three percent for Google Play in the U.S.”.  Unfortunately, many are reading that as “2% of all publishers,” rather than “2% of the top 250.”  In other words, Distimo’s data are being interpreted in such a way as to suggest that it’s almost hopeless to consider producing a new mobile app, when they say nothing of the sort.  The report also looks at mobile apps that succeed in generating either a million downloads, or a million dollars in revenue, in a two-month period, the result being that boutique entrepreneurs are expected to measure themselves against mobile apps like Google Maps for iOS, Temple Run 2, and Angry Birds: Star Wars, which simply isn’t realistic.

What seems to go unmentioned by most in the Monday morning quarterbacking undertaken by bloggers who [apparently] read the report is one of its most important conclusions:  “The application market is far more open for new applications. A considerate revenue share is gained by new applications.”  In short, if you have a good, new idea for a mobile application, now’s the time to get to work.  You might not be able to rack up a million downloads or a million dollars in a single quarter – that is, you might not be able to instantly compete with Google – but there’s still plenty of opportunity in the mobile app economy for people with good ideas.

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