Report: Apple renovating App Store to upgrade content discovery
Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is at work on a revamped App Store bolstered by content discovery technologies created by Chomp, which Apple acquired earlier this year.
9to5Mac reports that sometime between the summer and fall, Apple will unveil a remodeled iTunes Store and App Store designed to improve user discovery on both mobile devices and the desktop. Sources say that Apple purchased Chomp to facilitate that refresh, adding that the Chomp team is now fully integrated into an Apple unit dedicated to improving how consumers target and purchase digital content.
Apple acquired Chomp in February. Sources familiar with the negotiations told Bloomberg that Apple paid about $50 million. The free Chomp app, which is still available as a standalone service for Apple's iOS as well as Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android, leverages a proprietary algorithm that learns the functions and topics of apps to enable users to conduct app store search queries based on function and utility, not brand name. Consumers can search Chomp for subjects like "puzzle games," "expense trackers" or "chat" to identify the solutions they wish to download.
In 2011, Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) began shipping Android smartphones preloaded with the Chomp app, enabling subscribers to more efficiently search Android Market (now Google Play) as well as the operator's own Verizon Apps storefront. Last fall, Chomp also introduced Chomp Search Ads, an auction-based platform giving developers the opportunity to bid on keywords or search phrases that deliver their applications when subscribers input those query terms. Research firm Gartner calculates that developers typically spend anywhere between 20 percent and 30 percent of total app revenues on efforts to acquire new users through a range of advertising and marketing initiatives.
The App Store now boasts more than 550,000 iOS applications, but as the store has grown, so have developer frustrations over app discoverability. Conventional wisdom suggests Apple will integrate the Chomp solution directly into the App Store search bar, although its specific plans remain unclear.
9to5Mac reports Apple has begun internally seeding iTunes 11, which includes support for the forthcoming iOS 6 mobile operating system update as well as expanded integration with the iCloud virtual storage service. Apple typically releases new versions of iTunes in conjunction with major OS updates and device launches--however, 9to5Mac adds that although iTunes 11 is built as an iOS 6 compatible-release, Apple could release another iTunes 10.x point update tied to iOS 6, with iTunes 11 following at a later date. The release date of iOS 6 is unknown, and it is unclear whether the revamped App Store would arrive in conjunction with the intermediary 10.x update.
- read this 9to5Mac article
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