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Mac App Store vs. Chrome Web Store – Now we’re talking!

There is a term in sport called the silly season. A silly season occurs outside the actual time frame of competition. Since no true competition is taking place, the imagination runs wild with what-if’s about the upcoming season. In a hurry these what-ifs become quite silly. Finally the silly season ends when the true competitive season gets underway.

With the case of the Chrome Web Store we’re hoping the silly season is over. There was the tale of Chrome Web Stores Slow to a Trickle – which was founded on one data point – which was collected during holiday hangover week. This one data point then fueled Google’s Chrome Web Store Flopping. The final charge was led by none other then our beloved Register who summarily took the aforementioned one data point and forecast the doom of the entire Web App Model! . Here’s one for our Register UK friends – “Never in the field of Web Conflict, has one poor Apps performance, on a holiday lull, forecast doom for so many!” Not quite as poetic as Winny, but we hope you get the drift.

To help close the silly season lets look at the performance of the ENTIRE Chrome Web Store. Rather then one data point, we will use the entire data set – users, counted every day, for every app, since the store opened.

Chrome Web Store Sales

The primary axis shows ‘Users’ in millions. The Web Store Icons represent approximately one million milestones. Below is a numerical representation of the milestone data points.

Total Users Days to Million Milestone Apps
12/12/10 1,283,910 0-5 (data integrity?) 1,092
12/17/10 1,963,797 10 1,463
12/21/10 2,985,676 14 1,650
1/4/11 4,168,547 29 2,111
1/18/11 5,008,957 43 2,341

Using actual results we see a user growth rate of 390% from the store opening (actual open date was 12/7, clean data provided starting 12/12). Apps have grown at a rate 214%.

If these rates are compared to the competition, exactly how is the Chrome Web Store faring? To avoid digressing into silly season discussion again, we’d like to point to an interesting article written by Sebastian Anthony over at Tecca – Mac App Store vs. Chrome Web Store: The new app store war.

Essentially we agree with Sebastian. The Chrome Web Store’s true competition at this time is the Mac App Store. In his words – “Despite their fundamental differences, both the Mac App Store and Chrome Web Store share one thing in common: They both allow the digital purchasing and downloading of software. We already know that digital purchases are huge — just look at what iTunes has done for music, or Steam for video games. What we have here is simply the next logical step!”.

The Mac App Store opened for business on 1/7 – one month after The Chrome Web Store. Immediately Apple announced over one million apps had been downloaded from the 1,000 free and paid apps available.

Apps Users / Apps Downloaded Chrome Web Store Days to Million Milestone Chrome Web Store Apps Available Mac App Store Days to Million Milestone Mac App Store
 Apps Available
1 million 0-5* 1,092 1 1000
2 million 10 1,463 ? ?
3 million 14 1,650 ? ?
4 million 29 2,111 ? ?
5 million 43 2,341 ? ?

Only time will tell about the validity of comparing the success of the Google Chrome Web Store to the Mac App Store. Using the million milestone benchmark may prove to be quite revealing or worthless.

Hopefully we have progressed the discussion beyond a one app, one holiday day data point.

Certainly we’ll wait for a significant period of time to pass before we dismiss the Google Chrome Web Store and the entire web app model.

Useful Information

Mac App Store vs. Chrome Web Store – Now we’re talking!
Posted Wednesday, January 19th, 2011

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