Editorial: The myth of the importance of apps

meme There is a meme going round the blogosphere at the moment that the iPhone platform is unassailable due to its massive amount of applications.

This is wrong.

The iPhone was successful well before the app store debuted 1 year ago.  It was successful well before it received a next-gen processor.  It was even successful before it got 3G.

Commentators are constantly looking at the indicators of the success of the iPhone and making correlations, but as usual miss the hidden confounding variable and mixing up cause and effect.

The iPhone did not become successful because it has 65 000 apps – it has received 65 000 apps because it is successful. And before readers speculate on some virtuous circle going on, one needs to be reminded that having an app advantage did not save PalmOS from being trounced by Windows Mobile, or the PS2 from being trounced by the Xbox 360.

Device and OS generations come and go, and nothing is ever set in stone, no matter that bloggers of all stature speculate in their editorials.

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