Can you count the number of app stores in the market? Apple and Google have their own, then there is GetJar, Nokia Ovi, BlackBerry, and now Opera and Amazon are to launch their own app stores.
Furthermore, telecom service providers such as Airtel, Aircel, Idea Cellular, Reliance and BSNL in India have their own app stores too.
The surfeit of app stores seems inspired by the humungous success of the iPhone App Store, and all the new entrants in the field want to copy the idea. iPhone App Store is available right from the phone screen, and can also be accessed from a desktop via iTunes.
The huge increase in app stores is due to the fact that developers these days need not negotiate with carriers to get their app to the market, which used to be the case earlier.
People are also increasingly getting used to the idea of downloading apps and content.
A benefit of this competition is that prices of apps may go down in future. Also, developers will have to come up with more innovative applications to woo customers.
At the same time, too many choices may make things complicated for users. If they have bought apps from several app stores, they may have to check for updates on different sources.
For example, applications for Android devices are now available from a number of places, which confuses users.