The iTunes application made micropayments popular with the masses. Though other mp3 marketplaces existed, the iTunes player and companion devices worked in tandem to grow the marketplace to 80% market share of (legal) mp3 downloads and a library of over 8 million songs. (Don’t forget movies, TV and audio books!) Also ingenious is how sales of digital goods through iTunes helps fuel device sales, perhaps even more profitable than the sale of media itself.
In June 2010, iTunes already boasted 150 million active credit card accounts. That’s double Amazon’s figure of 73 million accounts not long ago.
The iPhone's touch screen innovation revolutionized the way to navigate the
mobile web web on mobile devices. The latest release of the iPhone 4S will make mobile browsing experience even faster, a very good thing for online shopping.
The hands-down most popular tablet with over 90% market share, to quote Jobs: “Many have said (iPad) is the most successful consumer product ever launched.”
The feature and functionality innovations of the iPad currently influence other devices. It created the market for tablet computers and shapes the latest releases of eReaders like the Kindle Fire.
While iTunes spur sales of iPods, iPad sales generates downloads of electronic books, content subscriptions and other media. And the usability of the tablet (larger screen and so on) makes mobile shopping a better experience than smartphones. Tablet shopping is poised to overtake PC shopping in the next few years. Why? You’re more likely at any given time to have a tablet in your briefcase or backpack than be sitting in front of your computer at home.
There are now over 500,000 “apps for that” from the practical, to the informational, just plain fun to transactional. Online retailers can develop new and enhanced mobile shopping experiences with saved account credentials, exclusive features that leverage the native properties of the phone or tablet, etc.
The buzz and excitement about Apple apps helps other platforms, as apps. Developers can build for iOS and replicate for other devices, and consumers are more aware of applications to enhance the user experience of their smartphones, no matter what the brand.
70% of app revenue is paid to developers which accounts to over $2.5 Billion over the last 3 years.