The following is an excerpt from VINDU GOEL and KATIE BENNER | June 10, 2016 | Nytimes.com |
SAN FRANCISCO — Apple’s iPhone would be just a well-made phone without the apps that allow people to personalize it with their favorite games, news, business, social and video services. Software makers need Apple, too: They badly want to be on the devices that people carry with them everywhere, especially as traditional websites and desktop computers fade in importance.
When Apple’s App Store opened in 2008, there were well under a thousand apps, and the relationship was obviously beneficial for both sides. But now, when there are more than 1.5 million apps fighting for attention in the App Store, the benefits for developers, particularly smaller ones, have become much less apparent.
“Is Apple coasting on its relationship and lead with developers? I think the answer is yes,” said Colin Gillis, an analyst with BGC Partners. “Their app store is considered an unappealing experience by many people. Their rules are arbitrary, and they take a big slice of money from sales.”
For a long time, Apple didn’t have to care. But now it faces flat sales of its flagship iPhones, a lack of excitement about newer products like its smart watch and Apple TV, growing competition from Google’s Android platform and the rise of new challengers like Amazon’s Echo device, which responds to a user’s voice commands at home with the kind of magic that used to be an Apple hallmark.
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