Only a few years ago the concept of a mobile app store did not exist. Or at least not in a sense as we know it today. Yes, it was possible to get third party apps for your smartphone (mainly Symbian or Java), but the experience was quite lame — no integrated environment, no common policy, no app reviews or ratings, very difficult traceability, no updates, complicated installation. The list goes on and on.
Today, on the other hand, every smartphone platform has its own app store — be it Apple’s App Store, Google’s Market, RIM’s App World, Nokia’s (now almost dead) Ovi, Microsoft’s Marketplace or Amazon’s Appstore. With varying degrees of success and major differences in user experience and app selection, all these app stores* aim to provide a seamless and integrated user experience for discovery, purchase, installation and updates of applications for a range of mobile devices. App stores truly revolutionised the way we perceive value of our mobile devices and the mobile ecosystem as such. And a completely new domain of the SW industry evolved from it.