Intel’s AppUp digital store chief Peter Biddle reckons Apple’s App Store doesn’t consider electrons enough to be a success, and believes that separating out hats and hammers, moms and hipsters is the way forward for software retail. “We love the idea that there could be thousands of stores” the exec suggested at a press event this week, The Register reports, cutting through the App Store morass by allowing independent store managers to curate their own selection.
“The current app marketplace is defined by 150 years of molecular thinking,” Biddle suggested, pointing to the old retail model of brick & mortar stores. “We’re not thinking about electrons -electrons, for all intents and purposes, are free.” Although it seems bizarre at first glance, in Biddle’s metaphor each individual store can offer a subset of products tailored to the likely audience. “If you were looking for a hat, you don’t want to trip over a hammer – you’re looking for a hat. You go to a hat store for a hat.”
That said, it must be particularly galling for Biddle that – even with its electron-blindness – Apple’s download store is getting far more attention than Intel’s efforts in the same space. AppUp has been running since January 2010 in beta, with Intel’s own specific store launching in September 2010, and yet aside from a relatively high-profile Angry Birds for PC release has made little impact. “AppUp is the world’s largest app store that nobody’s ever heard of” he agreed, going on to admit that “what we’ve built [today] doesn’t fulfill a majority of that reality … but it’s built to.”
“We’re working on curation tools for mom and pops to be able to do sort of like a first pass” Biddle says, and soon those “mom and pop” e-stores will be able to link a themed sub-set of AppUp content to their site or blog and use it as another way of engaging with visitors. Whether that will be enough to distract from iOS and Android’s catch-all download monoliths remains to be seen.