App store directory tracks 28 sites for developers, downloaders

appstoresinfoDid you know there are more than 25 mobile app stores in operation? That means app developers have to stay on top of at least 25 different sales models. The analysts at Distimo, a small, privately-funded app store analytics firm launched in May 2009 in the Netherlands, found themselves as overwhelmed as everyone else trying to keep up.

Their solution: Appstores.info, an app store portal that serves as a bookmarkable front door to every app store the Distimo guys cover. The site’s graphical home page, which uses only app store icons as a directory of stores, is one of those designs that just works because of its elegant execution.

Stores are divided into four types: Device Manufacturers such as Apple and Ovi, Developers such as Android and Windows Mobile, Operators such as Verizon and Sprint, and Independents such as GetJar and Handango. The partitioned layout — big props to whoever designed it — makes it feel like there are far fewer than the 28 stores aligned in Appstores’ grid. Suddenly, keeping an eye on all stores feels like drinking from a water fountain instead of a firehose.

Clicking on one of the homepage logos leads to a page about that store created from Distimo’s latest info. With one click from the homepage you can find, for example, that Samsung shares 70% of its app store revenue with the apps’ developers.

distimoDistimo CEO Vincent Hoogsteder, who supplies VentureBeat and others with monthly reports on app store trends, blogged that these are the key things you can do with the new site:

  • Browse through all available mobile application stores
  • View the most important and up-to-date characteristics per store, such as number of applications, billing methods, developer fees, etc
  • Search stores based on Category, Supported Platforms, Available Countries and Billing Methods
  • View the latest news about each store from Distimo’s blog
  • Add widgets to a webpage that stay updated with the latest Distimo database entry on an app store.

For example, I’ve included the Appstores.info widget for Samsung below. Distimo’s business model for Appstores.info is a straightforward marketing play: They had to track all this info for themselves anyway, so why not offer it for free? It’s a smart way to implant themselves into the app development community as a go-to expert source.