Sunnyvale-based mobile phone maker Palm launched on June 6, together with Sprint, the US wireless carrier, a new mobile phone, the Palm Pre, along with an application store for the device, the App Catalog. The number of applications that are available through the portal is a rather small one, yet it seems that the storefront and its items are quite appealing, at least this is what a recently published report form Strategy Analytics states.
The software solution portal, as many of you might already know, includes applications developed for Palm Pre's operating system, the webOS, a brand new platform, totally different from the older Palm OS that was available on the company's previous handset. Given the fact that Palm allowed only a small number of developers to access its platform's SDK, there are not too many applications available for the OS at the moment.
Compared with other software portals launched by mobile phone makers, the App Catalog is very small, with its 30 apps available for download, yet it seems that Palm Pre users are quite attracted to the store, as the storefront registered more than one million downloads in the first three weeks of availability. Moreover, Strategy Analitics also says that Palm reported more that 150,000 apps having been downloaded during the first day of the portal's availability alone.
“While the App Catalog contains desirable and recognizable content, the volume of content overall is lacking” Paul Brown, senior analyst in the Strategy Analytics User Experience Practice, commented. Christopher Dodge, analyst at Strategy Analytics, added that, “The download process is logical, allowing users to get content in one click. However, the purchase details of content are not clearly defined, leaving users unsure if they are downloading a trial version of the item or the complete version.”
According to the research firm, the Palm App Catalog is visually appealing, and also offers a simple download process. Given the fact that the company has recently extended the access to the Mojo SDK, and that more developers have been invited to its community, it shouldn't be too long before more apps are added to the storefront, though it will probably take a while before the number of solutions becomes large enough to be comparable with what other app stores offer.
The Strategy Analytics report called “Palm App Catalog: Intuitive UI, Appealing Content but Lacks Volume” can be found here.