Published: 11 April, 2012
Apple will revamp its App Store in the second half of this year, to simplify content and app discovery, drawing on February's acquisition of Chomp.
According to reports in 9to5Mac, Apple will remodel iTunes Store and iOS App Store to make it easier for consumers to find and buy the items they require, and therefore to stimulate purchasing. Ease of discovery is a common criticism of most of the mobile marketplaces, especially the big two as they attract huge numbers of products (550,000 and counting in Apple's market). Google is also promising better discovery, no doubt with an eye on Amazon's strengths in this area and in slick buying processes, as demonstrated in all its shopfronts including its Android AppStore.
Apple acquired Chomp, which had already provided a new interface for Verizon's own Android store last year, allowing customers to search for apps based on their function, rather than just by name or keyword. Chomp has filed for 11 patents for its technology, which includes an algorithm that can learn about an item from information it derives from other app stores, and from services like Twitter and Facebook.
Last fall, Chomp also introduced Chomp Search Ads, an auction-based platform enabling developers to bid on keywords or search phrases that deliver their apps when users input them. Apple is likely to integrate the Chomp solution directly into the App Store search bar, and presumably to close down the Android version of the product.
Chomp had raised $2.5m over two rounds of funding before being bought by Apple and the iPhone maker reportedly paid about $50m for it, taking on its 20-strong team including CEO and co-founder Ben Keighran.