Apple App Store Is The Big Story

Back when Apple was just launching the App Store I wrote that this was a paradigm shifting kind of advance, good for Apple, great for the iPhone and fantastic for its users.


What a novel approach to using technology and the market place to generate thousands of new reasons to buy this device, and leave it to developers on the grassroots level to do Apple's bidding for it.

The App Store, with its 50,000 applications and 1 billion downloads in under a year's time, absolutely trounces the competition with Research in Motion, Palm,Nokia, Microsoft,Google and everyone else forced to play catch up. And while they're trying to put their app stores in overdrive to close the gap, Apple continues to cruise at light speed.

Just ask Dr. Ge Wang, the co-founder and chief technology officer of Smule. He's talking to the faithful today and in his address, he'll announce that 1 million users have now downloaded his innovative musical program called Ocarina.

I spoke with Ge the other day and he confided in me the kind of rock star status now bestowed upon him, unable to walk through the crowd without being stopped by fans asking about what will come next from this Stanford professor/App developer.


The millionth user is from Japan, nicknaming his/her Ocarina Yuka and has listened to 58 snippets of performances from fellow Ocarina users around the world. Listen here.

We just featured Ge in a recent story about the power of the App Store. He's one of the best examples yet of just how powerful this Apple ecosystem can be, not just from an innovation standpoint, but from a commerce one as well.

He's attracted millions of dollar in venture capital, his program has generated 40 million performances, and users have uploaded 1,500 compositions from fellow Ocarina adopters, according to the company.

And he's not alone. There are thousands of Ge Wangs out there, staking their digital claim on the iPhone landscape. Some are far more successful than others, sure. But like the internet itself, Apple's App Store has dramatically leveled the playing field so that just about any developer out there can bring an idea to market and see if anyone wants it.

It's the ultimate free market enterprise, the democratization of product development. Consumers win; developers win; Apple wins. The App Store is a bona fide phenomenon that really culminates 30 years of Apple innovation. It's truly stunning.

It's about commerce, medicine, sports, social networking, sales, creativity, innovation, entertainment, big business and just plain fun.

With today's announcement by Smule of 1 million users, Apple gets yet another crystal clear example of just how compelling the App Store has become. And so quickly. As if it needed one.

Questions? Comments?