That’s because almost everyone downloads the apps they need from Apple’s App Store and the Google Play store on Android.
It’s a powerful duopoly, and everyone is used to it.
Apps and downloads are one of Apple’s fastest-growing, least-talked about businesses. They generate $4.4 billion per quarter, and are projected to be more profitable than iPads and Macs. Android and the Google Play store that supplies it run on up to 80% of smartphones in some markets.
Counterintuitively, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg seems to regard Apple and Google’s dominance of app distribution as a weakness that he can now exploit.
The non-obvious chink in the armor is that while Apple and Google dominate the supply of apps — and take a cut of each paid download — they are lousy at promoting and marketing apps.
The marketplace for apps is surprisingly dysfunctional, given that all the players in it are self-described innovators and disruptors of dinosaur capitalism.