Pros and Cons of Major App Stores

App store reviews

App Stores are really popular today, for customers seeking to download/purchase mobile apps and also for developers to showcase, market and sell their applications.

There are many App Stores today and each of these app stores vastly differs from the other, in terms of pricing, billing, presentation, and support. Each even rates the same app in different ways, which may finally get the customer in knots about whether or not to purchase a certain app. Which among these app stores are the best and how does one choose from them?

In this section, we deal with the pros and cons of the major App Stores in the market today.

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Apple’s App Store

Apple app store logo

Apple, inc.

What We Like
  • Probably the biggest app store, comprising more than 2,000,000 apps

  • Largest category of apps, ranging from fun apps to more serious ones

  • Features a whole lot of free apps. The paid ones are very reasonable

  • iTunes, is Apple’s biggest advantage. No other store so far offers users this facility

What We Don't Like
  • Only the most downloaded apps are featured prominently

  • Using the Apple App Store is the only method a user can install apps in their iPhone

  • There is duplication of many apps in the "lite" version of apps

  • Apple’s recent inclusion policies are very restrictive

The App Store was originally created by Apple Inc., to help users download applications, both free and paid, from the iTunes Store onto their iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad.

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Android Market

Android app store logo


What We Like
  • The Android Market features over 2,000,000 apps

  • Developers only pay a low fee of $25 to register

  • The apps are available at low costs too

  • Each item is categorized and listed out neatly

What We Don't Like
  • Quality of apps leaves a lot to be desired

  • Google supports only 29 countries to sell apps in their store. Developers from all other nationalities can only publish free apps

  • The app store is accessible only in certain countries of the world

  • Many developers feel that the app market is highly fragmented

Though the Google Android Market had initially gotten off to a slow start, it has now grown tremendously in both size and popularity. Some experts believe that it may very soon be capable of superseding the all-powerful Apple App Store.

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BlackBerry App World

Blackberry logo
What We Like
  • General presentation is very neat — all items are well categorized

  • The only app store that supports Paypal billing

  • The only one that pays developers 80% of the sales

What We Don't Like
  • On the higher end among all app stores, so products are more expensive

  • Some customers complain of issues during app installation

  • Can only be accessed in some countries of the world

  • This App Store requires the developer to pay up $200 to register his account therein

The BlackBerry App World, which has been live from April 2009, has proved to be one of the more promising app stores, offering more than 3500 apps. The store presentation is neat and easy to navigate. Each item is categorized systematically, so finding any app becomes very easy.

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Microsoft Windows Marketplace for Mobile

Windows phone marketplace
What We Like
  • All apps are well tested  

  • The app store managed to feature about 400 apps in a single month.

What We Don't Like
  • Each developer is charged a registration fee of $99

  • Developers are limited to certain countries only

  • Developers can sell their app only in one country. If they want to feature their app in more than one country, they have to pay $10 per country

  • The user is allowed 5 free app tries, after which he has to pay up $99 per try

  • Functional only on 6.1 and 6.5 OS

In spite of having many apps in just a few months, the Microsoft Windows Marketplace for Mobile fails to impress. Of course, there are also some positives.

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Samsung Application Store

Samsung Apps logo


What We Like
  • Neat catalogue design — the store is well-maintained

  • Each listing only costs $10

  • All apps are thoroughly tested before they feature on the app store

What We Don't Like
  • There are only about 600 apps in the store

  • For now, the app store is accessible only in Italy, UK, and France

The biggest advantage of the Samsung store is that it supports both the Symbian and the Pocket PC platforms. The store also keeps a perfect record of its apps, testing them thoroughly.

From time to time, the Samsung Application Store also involves itself in promotional activities and contests, where they offer a considerable amount of cash to the winning developer.