Orange arrives to app store party late. Clean up crew already heading home.

by Mike
Posted December 9th, 2009 at 10:43 am

orangeI love choices. Choices are brought on by competition. With that said, no one will deny that 2009 was the year of the app store. With the success Apple initially had with launching the first widely successful app store in 2008, tons of app stores (even the other 3 members of “the 4″) have cropped up as “me too” options. In the mobile app marketplace, consumers have 4 top of the line options between Apple’s App Store, Android’s Android Market, RIM’s BlackBerry App World, and Microsoft’s Windows Marketplace. There are many smaller app stores mind you, but they simply can’t compete with the big 4. It would seem that with the success of app stores from the likes of Apple, RIM, Android, and Microsoft, everyone would be benefiting from the new found competition. Everyone would agree with you, except exec’s of cellular carriers.

For years cellular carriers have held monopolies on any and all multimedia content destined for mobile devices. Whether it be a game, wallpaper, ringtone, etc., going through a legitimate carrier channel was needed. Now with independent app stores, carriers are finding that they’re losing revenue from their once great monopoly. To counter-balance this, many carriers have begun launching app stores of their own.

Ok, so late 2008 early 2009 mobile carriers’ stores start popping up. Here we are going into 2010 and Orange decides now is the time to open your mobile app store. When the market is more saturated than ever, why would they wait so long or choose such a time?

I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt from the starting gate and assume that they spent all of these extra months making it better, faster, and more app packed than their competitors. But 5,000 apps strong isn’t going to win you any awards when comparing Apple’s 100,000+ app catalog. Hell, even Android’s 5 digital catalog leaves Orange’s offering meager at best. Though I should highlight, numbers don’t necessarily mean quality. Of the App Store’s 100,000+ apps, I’d hazard a guess that only 5,000-10,000 are actually worth downloading.

While smartphone users aren’t likely to give much thought to Orange’s tardy offering, low and mid-range phones (read: dumb/feature phones) phone users should find Orange’s latest venture just what they needed. Any Orange users care to comment?


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