The Hills Are Greener: Ratio Rationale

The Hills Are Greener: Ratio Rationale

Sep 12, 2011

As reported by ReadWriteWeb, Research2Guidance has analysis on the percentage of daily downloads that app stores are getting in comparison to the iOS App Store, and they show that the two primary app platforms, the iOS App Store and Android Market, are paling in comparison to other, smaller platforms.

The first interesting sign is that users of the two primary mobile platforms, iOS and Android are downloading fewer apps than users of other stores. In particular, Windows Phone 7 owners are downloading apps at an 80% higher rate than on the iOS App Store, with the Android Market falling 5% behind the App Store. No numbers were given for third-party markets on any platform, it appears, such as Amazon Appstore. Nokia’s Symbian operating system may be relatively unknown to the current smartphone userbase, but some how it gets 160% more downloads from its OVI Store than the iOS App Store! Even BlackBerry owners are downloading more apps per user than the iOS App Store. Are users of these other platforms more enthusiast-focused audiences versus more casual userbases on iOS and Android?

Still, the numbers are kind of shocking. Well, except for Palm users not downloading apps on a daily basis at all, it seems. Still, GetJar being 90% lesser in terms of app downloads compared to the App Store is kind of sad considering all of GetJar’s apps are free, though in many cases this may be because users on GetJar’s platforms are just getting those apps from the platform’s primary app store.

Most interesting is the sign that the Android Market doesn’t actually lag behind the iOs App Store as far as one might think. Users are downloading apps on Android at only a 5% lesser rate than on iOS. This doesn’t sound good, but given the repuation of Android as a revenue sinkhole, data showing that this isn’t really the case is ultimately good. The platform is still lagging behind the iOS App Store when it comes to apps, but it’s catching up in terms of the number of apps that are being downloaded.

It will be interesting to revisit these numbers at some point in the future, to see how the Android Market in particular fares with the App Store as the OS continues to expand. Who knows what the numbers will look like a year from now, or even just a few months later?

Report: PopCap to be Acquired For $1 Billion

Report: PopCap to be Acquired For $1 Billion

Jun 23, 2011

Big news from the world of mergers and acquisitions; according to TechCrunch, PopCap is being bought for a $1 billion USD; that’s billion with a B. It is not known who is buying them yet, making this the tech industry’s equivalent of a “mystery team” that wanted to sign professional baseball player Cliff Lee this past winter. Hopefully, the rumors of an unknown suitor turn out to be true in this case as they were in that case.

This number sounds large when considered that their revenue is only in the $100-$150 million range, according to TechCrunch, who broke the story. However, considering that OpenFeint was purchased by GREE for $100 million when their revenues were only in the six figures, this is almost a bargain. As well, PopCap has a range of wildly popular intellectual properties; consider the popularity of Peggle and Plants vs. Zombies, then consider that they also make what is likely the most popular match-3 game, Bejeweled. They also release for many, many platforms – Peggle and Plants vs. Zombies, for example, are available on PC, Mac, iOS, Android, Xbox 360, Playstation 3, and Nintendo DS. So PopCap make games that are popular, and they have the ability to release them on a wide variety of platforms. It makes sense that they would be a popular acquisition target.

The question with PopCap’s acquisition is twofold – first, who is actually acquiring them? Secondly, what would the purpose of doing this be? Zynga is apparently out of the running, as the price tag was too high. EA could be a possibility, though their total valuation is only $7.4 billion dollars. Apple has the money to do so, but buying a game developer doesn’t seem like their style. One likely possibility might actually be Microsoft. Microsoft’s strength with Windows Phone 7 has been with gaming, in particular. Buying PopCap would only strengthen Microsoft’s gaming selection on mobile devices, along with being a potential boon for Games for Windows. There is also the possibility that games could come to Microsoft’s platforms like the Xbox 360 quicker than they have before.

Of course, if a large third party company bought PopCap, and it was one that had a vested interest in a singular platform, then would Android and other versions of PopCap games disappear? Microsoft has released apps for other platforms, but there’s a big difference between an app like PhotoSynth popping up on non-Microsoft platforms and releasing the latest PopCap addiction for other platforms. We’ll likely find out soon who the mystery suitor for PopCap is, and who knows; it could be a real surprise. Or perhaps an Asian company that wants to make a global splash the way that GREE and DeNA have with their acquisitions of OpenFeint and ngmoco, respectively.

Source: TechCrunch