Meh on Actual iPhone, Bullish on App Store
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 9, 2009 2:34 PM CDT
Apple's Phil Schiller, Senior Vice President of Worldwide Product Marketing, leaves the stage after he introduced the new Apple iPhone 3G S at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – The iPhone itself isn’t in a class by itself as far as smartphones are concerned, Farhad Manjoo writes for Slate—but the App Store makes it unbeatable. Apple boasts more than 50,000 applications, and the rate is increasing; Google’s Android operating system only supports 5,000. “The iPhone has attracted something that none of its rivals can match,” Manjoo writes: “a devoted following of developers who are building amazing programs for the device.”

And the sheer fact of the iPhone’s current dominance means it will continue. “As developers create more programs for the iPhone,” Manjoo writes, “it attracts more customers, which in turn makes it even more attractive to developers.” It seems like the phone itself has become almost obsolete. “The hardware hardly matters anymore,” Manjoo writes. “How is anyone going to compete with all these amazing apps?”