Along with many other interesting pieces of information, I saw this article among Kathy Gill’s Tweets. Written by Tomi Ahonen, the article explores the economics of the current iPhone app store environment, at least in one perspective. While I don’t agree with everything that Ahonen says, I find his extensive thoughts, as well as many of the comments quite thought-provoking.
The greatest insight that came from this analysis for me, was not actually any of the numbers, but the notion that in deciding whether to design applications vs mobile websites, designers need to consider the user’s experience.
This seems like a very basic concept, but as Ahonen and many of the commenters point out, just because someone loves their iPhone (or Droid, Blackberry, etc…) does not mean you should develop an app for that environment. Look at your users. Look at the UI. How best can you design an experience for your users? What environments are they interacting in? That should be the starting point, not your personal smartphone infatuation.
I would recommend giving Ahonen’s article and its comments a read, as well as checking out Gill’s Smartphone class at the University of Washington, which can be found at http://uwsmartphones.wordpress.com/