Apple App Store Reshaped the Mobile Industry in 12 Major Ways

0-Apple App Store Reshaped the Mobile Industry in 12 Major Ways
1-Evolution of the iOS Family
2-New Versions, New Bugs
3-Disappearing Operating Systems
4-Exponential Growth
5-The Mobile Industry Today
6-Tech War: Android vs. Apple
7-Innovation Spurred
8-Enterprise Impact
9-What’s Next?
10-The New CMoO Taking Charge
11-Apps Lead the Way for Tomorrow’s Technology
12-The Rise of the Mobile App Developer
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Apple App Store Reshaped the Mobile Industry in 12 Major Ways

By Darryl Taft

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Evolution of the iOS Family

When iOS and Apple App store were launched five years ago, there was really only one smartphone that developers needed to worry about—the iPhone1. Since then, Apple has evolved every year and now has six OS family versions and tablets, all with different screen resolutions, ranging from the different versions of the iPhones, iPads (2, 3, 4, Mini) and iPods.

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New Versions, New Bugs

Not only are there new versions, but they have increased in complexity, fragmentation and compliance needs. Now, applications that work on the iPhone may not work on the iPad – it’s important to test apps across ALL devices and versions now to account for the growing complexity and to avoid major bugs. As the complexity grew among versions, so did the bugs in applications, impacting app store end-users in ways they hadn’t experienced before.

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Disappearing Operating Systems

In the last five years, many leading OSes disappeared from the mobile market (Symbian, J2ME), while other strong OSes such as BlackBerry significantly slowed down, putting the focus and challenge on two major players: Apple iOS and Google Android.

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Exponential Growth

As the OS leaders appeared, mobile apps and mobile users continued to grow exponentially, and so did their expectations. A bug, a slow app, a confusing interface—all are reasons for an end-user to ditch an app and move on to competing apps.

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The Mobile Industry Today

With the iPhone launch, the mobile revolution came into the world with a vengeance. With millions of apps, new functionality on various devices, and a maturity of the mobile OS technology, mobile has become a strong enterprise asset.

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Tech War: Android vs. Apple

The battle continues. It started almost five years ago, but today Android is becoming the clear winner. According to some estimates, Android holds around 75 percent of the market share, while iOS only holds 17 percent—a significant gap.

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Innovation Spurred

The two companies’ highly publicized constant battle since the launch, and this battle brings innovation and new technology to the market.

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Enterprise Impact

While Android may hold the majority of the market share, iOS devices are still leading the enterprise market. Arguably, this is due to the fact that the platform is much more secure and less fragmented compared with Android. This allows enterprises to employ bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies with that device family with greater confidence than with Android.

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What’s Next?

While Apple clearly paved the path for the mobile industry, the App Store only touched on the ways mobile can impact the industry. In fact, Apple has dropped in Forbes' most innovative companies list, and companies like Facebook are entering the top 10. They undoubtedly have a robust mobile strategy, and with other companies like Google entering new industries like providing WiFi services for Starbucks customers, there’s no telling where this can all lead and who the major players will end up being when all is said and done. Apple, Google and Microsoft are expected to control 91 percent of the U.S. smartphone market and 98 percent of the U.S. tablet market by 2016.

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The New CMoO Taking Charge

Mobile apps have become increasingly more important for companies as a direct way to reach the customers. Forrester recommends that companies install a chief mobility officer (CMoO) to help corral, plan and manage all the different mobile apps and initiatives undertaken by a business. In the next five years, the focus of the customer experience via mobile apps will be the core for businesses as it provides a direct and interactive channel to the customer. If a customer has a bad experience with an app, it could tarnish the brand and the company could even lose a customer.

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Apps Lead the Way for Tomorrow’s Technology

With the advancements of new mobile technology, mobile apps will follow suit. Biometrics, hands-free-related gestures (such as eye scroll and air gestures), voice recognition and mobile payments will be the next phase of mobile apps, making them more advanced and even smarter than today’s apps. These new types of mobile engagement will require new testing strategies to assure that apps based on these new functionalities can pass muster and work on the new crop of devices.

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The Rise of the Mobile App Developer

The role of mobile app developers is becoming more essential to every business. Now more than ever, enterprises are hiring mobile app developers. A recent Appcelerator survey said enterprise-focused developers have seen growth from 29.3 percent in the fourth quarter of 2010 to 42.7 percent in the second quarter of 2013. Developers primarily interested in consumer-facing apps have shrunk from 70.7 percent to 57.2 percent in the same time period.

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