Man, I hate when valid macro arguments (there **is** lots of zombie software in the App Store) are mucked up by clear bias and self-interest.
Writing in GigaOM, David Meyer, quotes a startup analytics founder's assertion that an estimated 400,000 out of 650,000 apps in the App Store are zombie software. Why so many zombies, pray tell?
“This is based on Apple’s closed system — it’s tough to discover those kinds of apps. You don’t have proper search, so the only way to discover new apps is through the top listing,” says Adeven CEO, Christian Henschel.
Really? This is based on Apple’s closed system? What data supports that conclusion? The greater success of apps in other more 'open' app stores?
I mean is there even a scintilla of data that suggests less zombies on Google Play or the Amazon Android app store?
Let's get real. More probably, app store economics are stilted towards few big hits, and the longer tail pool of utility & productivity perennials that get updated, cared and fed for, marketed beyond the app store, etc.
Think: Instapaper, GoodReader.
Everything else either has an orthogonal business model, venture funding, or both (e.g., Dropbox, Yelp, Path, Instagram).
Beyond that, it's debatable whether the preponderance of zombies is a BUG or a FEATURE of App Store economics.
After all, with 650K apps, 90%+ will ultimately fail, just as 90% of businesses in the real world fail, right?
The larger question, what I refer to as the pink elephant in the room in my O'Reilly Radar piece, 'The iPhone, the Angry Bird and the Pink Elephant,' is whether ANY form of app store economics support the kind of vibrant software industry that promulgated during the PC era, and even during the web era.
Let's talk about pink elephants, and not so much about personal biases, is my take.