This week I was lucky enough to attend the "Swipe" conference here in Sydney.
The highlight for me was the keynote presentation by Horace Dediu who I listen to on the "Critical Path" 5by5 podcast. The image above shows revenue from digital music sales compared to revenue from app sales, the interesting thing is that apps are now a bigger business than music.
Horace took us through the history of personal computing by using animated graphs showing the rise and fall of different products and brands. The stand out is that tablets have taken off faster than any product before them. While traditional "big screen" personal computers continue to experience some growth it is fairly flat compared to new devices such as smart phones and tablets.
The iPad is particularly profitable and in fact the iPad alone is worth more than the entire PC business. Microsoft's revenue for operating systems is rapidly declining. Android and IOS have completely re-defined what growth can be.
I asked Horace why, if Android is the number one platform, does iOS still see 70% of the internet traffic? He said it's about engagement. Android users wanted a smart phone or tablet but what you can do with it is less "discoverable" and this is a problem for customer loyalty. Many Android buyers bought a smart phone but they're using it as a feature phone.
Other highlights were the "ABC Art Maker" case study from Amy Nelson and Meena Tharmarajah, "iOS Performance Tuning" from Bill Dudney, "Designing Accessible iOS Apps" from Jake MacMullin, "Blocks and Block based APIs" from Cameron Barrie, "Australia Post case study" with Chris Van Raay, and "Automated testing with KIF" with Chaise Hocking.
My compliments to the organisers and I look forward to the next conference.
The chart shows geeks are the new rockstars - there's precious little innovation in music and there's a massive back catalogue being mined. On the other hand touch-apps* are a whole new exciting experience for so many.
* can't call them smartphone apps or tablet apps or ... is there a collective term for apps designed to run on touch enabled non-PCs?
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