The Symbian Foundation, a leader in cell phone operating system research, says there will be ten million apps available a decade from now. “The full blossom will come in ten years and mobile apps will become as popular as websites are today with consumers,” the organization told BBC News
It is obvious to Symbian that all of these apps will not be successful and that a number of developers will become discouraged and will withdraw from the market completely.
What is not quite as obvious is the massive amount of developer time that will be wasted creating unsuccessful software over the next several years. The huge flood or apps and programming time that will be required to launch them is not unlike the movement several years ago to build out Linux, the open source operating system that has only gotten modest acceptance in its efforts to supplant Microsoft (MSFT) Windows. The lack of commercial success of Linux left many of those who worked on the project without incomes and with the most modest prospects of becoming financially successful engineers in the future.
The app business will be a failure for the huge majority of those who hope to make fortunes. Other technology that might have benefited from the efforts of those programmers will flag, and the rush for fool’s gold in the software industry will have repeated itself once again.
Douglas A. McIntyre