iPad Developers will be Sorely Disappointed at Launch
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iPad Developers will be Sorely Disappointed at Launch

When the iPhone App Store launched, iPhone developers were impressively rewarded for their hard work and determination to get their apps on the App Store on launch day. Reading through a number of the iPhone/iPod/iPad developer groups, a similar level of excitement exists for the launch of the iPad, but unfortunately, that enthusiasm is going to die down quickly with a dose of reality.

There are a number of things that made the launch of the iPhone App Store an incredible success. Fist, there were already more than 8 million iPhones in the market by the time the App Store launched and that doesn’t count the millions more iPods that were also sold prior to the App Store launch. Then, there’s the fact that very few companies had a product to launch. On launch day, there were 500 applications available for download. The excitement was so high that nearly every one of those 500 applications received an incredible amount of free press, reviews and complimentary mentions in numerous blogs and online publications. Being first to market on the launch of the App Store, which itself was a historic event, meant that the worst applications would still receive thousands of downloads – if for no other reason, just for the curiosity factor.

The Launch of the iPad and the apps designed specifically for the iPad are going to have a significantly different story. On the day the iPad App Store launches with iPad-exclusive apps, there will be exactly -0- devices sold with owners who are eager to buy apps. Even if the iPad has an exceptionally successful launch, launch-day devices will likely number in the hundreds of thousands, not millions. To make matters worse, there are now tens of thousands of iPhone developers who will have their iPad-only apps ready to go on day 0, so the iPad-exclusive App Store will be far more crowded than the launch of the original iPhone App Store and since the App Store concept is nothing new, there will be a lot less written about the launch of the iPad exclusive App Store.

So lets quickly compare the two launches:

On Launch Day Original App Store iPad App Store
# of Devices Previously Sold and Ready to Use App Store > 8 Million 0
# of Apps on the App Store Specifically for the Device ~ 500 > 10,000
(Estimate)
Sales Pace of Devices (iPhone / iPad) > 2 Million / Month ~300K/mo
(Estimate)

In the long-run, being ready for the iPad will be a great win for the developers who take the chance and get prepared. The iPad will likely have a very bright future, but by no means is the launch of the iPad App Store going to create anything near the results of the original App Store. It’s important for iPad developers to check their expectations against the realities.

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