I’ve talked about how Apple doesn’t have to worry too much about market share when they invent new markets. That was very clearly true with the iPod. The iPhone is another innovative device that not only expands Apple’s market reach, but encourages customers to consider Apple’s other products – hence the so-called “halo” effect. I find this to be clearly evident in our stores where customers frequently come in to buy an iPod and then return later to check out a MacBook or iMac.

Apple has created another game changing stealth market, which is the iTunes App Store. If you have an iPhone or an iPod Touch you owe it to yourself to check out the hundreds of applications available for easy download at the App Store. Many of these are totally free while others start at only $0.99. When I first got my iPhone I used it as a phone and a device to get my email – sort of typical smart-phone usage. Now I find myself spending almost as much time utilizing some of the handy applications available for the phone. Here are a few I find handy. Note that all links will launch iTunes and take you directly to the linked app in the iTunes App Store.

AIMAOL’s instant messenger – Apple has not released iChat so I use AIM and what better way to keep in touch with the office while waiting in an airport?

Units – A handy conversion utility

ACTCurrency – a great currency converter

Shazam – a magical little app that lets you hold your phone up to a speaker if you hear a song you like and it will tell you what the song is and more

eBay – check up on the Hippo paraphernalia

Pocket Aid – a first aid guide always ready

Google Earth – to amaze your friends.

SportsTap – scores all the time!

Scrabble – yeah that game.

Backgammon – so I can hone my skills and beat my granddaughter

MotoChaser – winter substitute for riding?

Jolt, Nearby, iWant, Travelocity, LocalPicks – all give you guides to local services, restaurants based upon your triangulated location.

There are hundreds and hundreds more and you can be sure that the iPhone and the iPod Touch are not the only devices that will be able to use this amazing resource. Apple certainly isn’t recession-proof, but they have the right formula to use creativity and innovation to withstand hard times!

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