Android Continues Apple App Culture
What can be said rightly as Apple’s accomplishment is the switch from the thinking of traditional program – be it for desktop or a game console to the new “App Culture”. Where one times computer program was a $40+ boxed product & where 3DS games, & those for other consoles, are still $40+ boxed cartridges, it’s now a $0.99 download, instant gratification at a cost that won’t wrinkle your conscience. Tech is cheap, apps are throwaway, & Apple is to blame.
It’s hard to get attention when there’s thousands of apps out there; harder still in case you require to cost your apps at any over a few dollars. They judge in the first few seconds, based on cost & a couple of star reviews. There’s no motivation to surprise & delight the user later on, as they explore the program, because there’s every chance they’ll seldom get that far. If you’re not upfront about every last thing that makes you special, then the user will take their dollar & hit next.
Arguably a similar commoditisation has happened in hardware. Our devices are basically portals to our apps. As the hardware is becoming less and less valued these days, the so called smartphones, laptops, tablet pcs all are converging to a central place. And yes I can hear you, there’s plenty of Android rings out there, & there’s iPhone , but there’s small in the way of actual hardware differentiation. It’s a box that runs our apps, & they require to pay accordingly.
There was a time when the wild card was Apple’s own products, when they were the premium option with pricing considerably higher than anything in the PC sphere. It’s still, to some extent, correct ‘ you’ll pay more for a MacBook Pro than you will food a similarly-specified PC laptop from Dell or HP, though in plenty of cases those Windows rivals basically won’t offer elements of the Apple proposition, like an all-metal chassis & Thunderbolt ‘ but the gap is decreasing. It’s more obvious in Apple’s iOS range, with iPods & iPhones the obvious picks when the competition is fundamentally priced the same.
For the iPad 2, Apple is even leading the field, with Android options struggling to accomplish the same eye-catching cost points as they chase the functionality. It’s having an fascinating affect at the company’s top-end, . last week I heard of one would-be Mac Pro buyer, met with blank faces at an Apple reseller when asking about the high-end desktop. Not that they didn’t know about it; they basically didn’t know it existed in the first place. Surely you must mean an iMac, they said, or are you confusing things with an LED Cinema Display plugged in to your MacBook Pro?
Now, that’s likely one dumb seller with an eye on Apple’s glitzier, more consumer-friendly line, but it’s a sign of the shift all the same. Keeping Apple as our example, the company was one times best known for its high-end, quality notebooks & computers; now that reputation has shifted to iOS. In the industry more usually, where one times the focus was on notebooks & PCs, the speed-battle between Intel & AMD, now we’re only curious about smartphones & slates. So you’ve got a 0.2GHz-faster chip in your laptop computer, & can load Excel 2-percent faster? Icy story, bro.
With that, the attention has dropped in to a lower cost bracket: cheaper mobile devices, cheaper instant apps. Apple has redefined the worth of program ( as it did with music & films) to build a structure around their hardware &, more importantly, their ecosystem as a whole. Developers face releasing their hard-crafted articles for sale & make no mistake, it’s still pricey, in money & time, to build a lovely application ‘ in to a market near-saturated with titles, where attention spans are minuscule & prices match.
When an app was $40 you stuck with it, learnt its foibles, saw past a poor first-impression gleaned from the 30 seconds after hitting the icon. When an app is one of a few hundred thousand, priced at a buck or even free, it’s a whole lot simpler to bin anything that doesn’t instantaneously appeal. & yet, when it comes to upgrade time & you’re taking a look at the shelves of devices, you’re far more likely to choose the platform which runs all those $0.99 apps that quickly added up to a significant program investment.
We’re watching the publishers doing that now, trying desperately to wrench away pricing control from retailers like Amazon & set their own figures as to what they ‘ & plenty of of their authors ‘ think the content is worth. In return, they’re being decried as ‘old media’ & told to get with the times: content is cheap, the fickle customer is king, & the app store gatekeepers call the shots.
Ask any retailer & they’ll tell you, it’s simple to drop prices but it’s incredibly difficult to put them back up again. At least, in case you require to stay in business for long, or unless you offer some commodity ‘ gas, food perhaps ‘ that consumers can’t do without. Choose that your articles for sale, whether content, program or something else, are worth over the established order, & get ready for a significant battle.
Cheap apps are definitely lovely for consumers on the face of things: more program for less money. Issue is, when you teach people that apps are worth $0.99 then they start to think that. App piracy may not be all that widespread, when the cost of entry is so low, but in the method developers are making mere pennies on their hard work. Meanwhile there’s small incentive, with the current state of consumer attention span, to invest in anything that offers any great depth. Why think of the long-tail when your makes use of will already be overlooking your app by then, or when you can sell them another speedy hit by a $0.99 in-app purchase.
So, on the one hand cheap new toys & all the low-guilt program you could hope for to run on them. On the other, zero-attention-span apps & small incentive for developers & content providers to do over glean a few launch day headlines before moving on to the Next Large Thing. I’m as guilty as the rest in downloading & discarding, downloading & discarding, but I do miss the days when we’d invest over a couple of taps in figuring out how program worked, the way it could help us, & how the blend of that & our devices could better work in our lives.