Mining the Iphone App Haystack with AppStoreHQ

The iPhone’s App Store has revolutionized the mobile phone marketplace, first by actually establishing a market and secondly by forcing the rest of the mobile industry to follow suit.

But the App Store’s very popularity could prove to be its undoing. Its getting increasingly difficult to find the app you want in a crowded online bazaar crammed with hundreds of new apps every day. That’s where AppStoreHQ aims to provide value.

AppStoreHQ is a Seattle startup that wants to become the “Google of iPhone apps”, and by implementing a socring system based on discussions on 75 different blogs and review sites, it might just take the title. According to Chris Devore, who also created Founder’s Co-op, discoverability isn’t yet a priority for Apple, and anything that drops off the Top 100 list on the App Store has essentially disappeared.

Besides aggregating web chatter about apps, AppStore HQ eventually would like to incorporate opinions from iPhone owners, which can then form suggestions based on what people have downloaded.

But there are a couple of looming problems on the horizon for AppStore HQ. For one, Apple has tightly controlled practially every aspect of the iPhone, and thee’s nor eason to think they won’t do so with a service that’s providing functionality they as of yet are not. After all, the creators of Podcaster, which downloaded podcasts straight to the iPhone, were hounded by Apple, only to find the next revision of the iPhone OS replicating much the same functionality. The other major problem is that Apple will undoubtedly make discoverability a priority at some point, either out of necessity or because the iPhone is becoming one of Apple’s most important products, and will receive much more attention as time goes on. AppStore HQ is a great idea, but it might be both ahead of its time and dead on arrival simultaneously.