iPhone apps: many bought, not as many used

Itunesappstore_2Om shares some info today on the wildly popular iTunes AppStore that’s worth a closer look because it underscores a theme I’ve been harping on since day one. According to Steve Jobs in a Wall Street Journal interview, the AppStore has seen over 60 million application downloads. No question that’s a phenomenal number, one that we can’t easily compare to sales on other platforms since those sales aren’t centralized, but phenomenal nonetheless. Here’s where it gets interesting though.

Pinch Media shared some data with Om that shows fewer than 20% of all apps are used once per day. That doesn’t mean that 80% of all apps purchased are "wasted money", but for a device that most people are carrying everywhere, it tells me that a good chunk of the purchased apps aren’t getting used on a daily basis. Great numbers from the AppStore aside, I’d like to see how many apps people have bought that they aren’t using, i.e.: they’re wishing they hadn’t spent the money.

I’ve been very cautious when buying apps for this very reason. Without free trials, which I’m used to on other platforms, I simply don’t want to waste money for an application that doesn’t meet my expectations. The AppStore has made it very easy and seamless to purchase software, which is great. It also makes it far too easy to thrown money down the drain for an apps that simply take up space on your device.

Gushan’s Biodiesel IPO Has Some Risks

China plus biodiesel. Rarely has such delectable chocolate been caught inside such irresistible peanut butter. Or at least such may be the feeling of investors hungry for an IPO. You can forgive them the craving, having savored this summer’s meaty morsels as VMWare — up 212 percent as of this writing — and Yingli Green Energy, which is up 179 percent.

Since October, they’ve had to succor themselves with bland fare like China Digital TV — up 13 percent — or even bitter fruit like Constant (“We’ll email it for you!”) Contact — down 23 percent. So you can forgive investors for hearing the unlikely strains of Joey Scarbury‘s “Believe It or Not” as they consider Gushan’s prospectus. But there are some reasons to be cautious about what appears on the surface to be a promising IPO.

Gushan Environmental Energy filed Monday for an offering on the New York Stock Exchange with the proposed ticker GU. Gushan’s business is to take used cooking oil and other vegetable oils, convert it into fuel, and sell it to ship operators, petroleum wholesalers and individual gas stations. The company was one of the first to enter China‘s biodiesel industry when it set up shop in 2001, and Frost & Sullivan reckons it has the biggest production capacity.
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Mac OS X Leopard at WWDC: What’s a Web Worker to Love?

It’s Stevenote time again, and that means that the Mac faithful gather round their liveblogging screens to happily swim in the fruity Kool Aid. This time it’s the Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco, CA.

The big news was a deeper preview of Leopard (Mac OS X) than we have seen before. The slides boast 300 new features. But he’s probably counting the reflective “floor” of the dock as a feature. Not going to do a whole lot for your billing rate, is it? So what did Steve Jobs say to his flock that will make a difference to those of us who earn our livings based on our digital lifestyles?

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Newt Gingrich Apologizes on YouTube

Newt Gingrich, former speaker of the house, recently stirred up controversy by decrying bilingual education programs in public schools as “the language of living in a ghetto.” Not exactly the tactic I’d choose for the Republican Party’s efforts to woo Latino voters.

Gingrich just posted his apology to his own YouTube channel, in Spanish with English subtitles. In it, he still calls for an end to bilingual education. “[W]e should replace bilingual education programs with intensive English instruction so we can all know the common language of our country.”

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OmniWeb 5.5 Public Beta

The Omni Group has released a public beta of the next version of their OmniWeb browser. Version 5.5 brings some much needed changes to OmniWeb, most notably the switch from the aging WebCore engine to a recent build of WebKit. I have participated in the private beta of 5.5, and its stable enough for me to use as my main browser. Keep in mind however that this is beta software, and crashes will be par for the course. For better or for worse, though in my opinion for the worse, The Omni Group decided to mark up the menu-bar of the beta with a hazard stripe pattern. I understand that they want users to know they are using beta software, but if someone is going to go to the trouble of downloading and installing the beta, they probably know the risks involved. Additionally, the beta will only run for 15 days. Omni Group engineers have assured me that this is simply to ensure that people are using the most recent builds of the beta as they are released.
Update: Josue points out that the disk image for the beta requires a password that can only be found at the Omni Group Forums

Trouble for 3F W-CDMA?

South Korea has become a defacto test bed for anything broadband, and what it decides does have major implications around the world. The Korea Herald is reporting that the going might be tough for W-CDMA in that country, which does not bode well for the technology that is supposed to replace the GSM standard in the 3G world. SKTelecom and KTF Co says that “Customers will be allowed to sign up for rental W-CDMA services because the handsets are too expensive and there are a slew of technical problems.” According to the report, folks over in South Korea are happy with what they got. “The problem is that both SK Telecom and KTF want to delay or cancel W-CDMA service in consideration of its poor commercial potential. Experts said there is little difference between W-CDMA and CDMA2000 1x services in terms of voice and data functionality,” The Korea Herald adds.