There are a ton of apps out there. There seems to be an app available for just about everything, and competition for eyeballs in the app store continues to grow. During the past few years, there have been many discussions about how the usage of apps will trump the usage of domain names.
Due to the increasing app store competitiveness, it is speculated that some app developers may focusing on building better mobile websites, spurning the app stores all together. Here’s an excerpt from a New York Times article that explains what may happen:
“If it continues to be difficult for apps to stand out in the App Store, more developers will concentrate on developing great mobile websites instead, said Cathy Boyle, principal analyst for mobile at eMarketer, a research firm.
Creating an iPhone app typically costs $50,000 to $200,000, and some cost as much as $1 million, according to an eMarketer report last June. A website is cheaper, and while it lacks some convenience of an app, there are techniques to make a site easy for web users to find.”
Obviously, if a developer opts to build a mobile website, it will be necessary to buy a domain name. Although many developers don’t have the budget for a high value domain name consider the cost of those can be 5 to 6 figures alone, the fact that it is predicted there will be a move to domain names is important.
Having full control over one’s business is important. When a developer relies on an app store, they need to follow certain rules about the product and marketing. With a standalone mobile website, there aren’t as many rules to follow. In addition, the domain name is basically a foundation for the developer’s business. They rely on it for branding, email, technical functionality, database management, and many other back-end requirements.
I’ve been reading articles discussing how Facebook, the app stores, and other platforms are reducing the importance of and need for domain names. I don’t really agree with this assessment. As it gets more difficult to get attention at the app stores, it looks like domain names are going to continue to be important.
Thanks to Nat Cohen for sharing this with me.