Thursday, September 10, 2009

Genius for App Store

Steve Jobs informed the public that Apple had extended its Genius software, first introduced for iTunes, to its iPhone app store. With more than 75,000 apps on the store, it's clearly difficult for consumers to discover interesting new items that might appeal to them. Genius may help them to find apps that could be most useful to them. It will be interesting to see if this increases the volume of paid apps downloaded from the app store. Will Genius induce people who typically focus on the free apps to perhaps upgrade to related paid apps that could provide an enhanced experience for the consumer? If so, Apple and outside party app developers could win from the introduction of Genius.

As an aside, if Blackberry tries to emulate Genius, it will face a daunting challenge... namely, the algorithms that drive programs such as Genius benefit greatly from having a huge sample size. Thus, Apple has a substantial advantage over Blackberry in being able to develop accurate algorithms for Genius. NetFlix has this same advantage, by the way, over Blockbuster and others... because it's database from which its recommendations are driven is so large and diverse.

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