A new report from research2guidance finds 59 full-catalog app stores have opened since 2000, with 49 of them considered viable today. According to the firm, that’s the “saturation point,” and any new full-catalog app stores will have a very difficult time competing with Apple’s App Store, Google Play and other established players. In fact, many of these stores began closing in 2010 after failing to attract developers, and more are expected to shut down or merge with other app stores.
On the other hand, niche app stores that focus on a particular segment of the mobile development market have been flourishing, with nearly 100 open by the end of 2011. In particular, the report points to Mozilla’s forthcoming store as one that could attract enough developers and end users to succeed.