There was a lot of buzz last week when Apple announced that there now more than 100,000 applications in iPhone App Store, and more than two billion apps downloaded. Those are impressive numbers. A former Palm executive recently told me that in the heyday of Palm OS, two thirds of users never installed a third party app and the average "power user" installed around ten. That averages out to about two apps per device -- a pretty low number compared to most iPhone users, even novice users.
But that's only part of the story. A few months ago, I discussed the viability of multiple mobile OS platforms and how it's not likely that they all will survive long term, and one big reason Apple's platform looks better and better is entertainment apps. Looking at my own device, once you get past the three core apps I use all the time (Mail, Tweetie, and Byline, a Google Reader app), the bulk of my hundred plus apps are all entertainment related -- and most of them aren't available on any other platform.
When you look at the out-of-the-box experience of most smartphones today, they're all pretty good when it comes to basics. Email, web browsing, personal information management, and voice are all acceptable. What's missing are the applications and experience that make up mobile entertainment. Media and content consumption are one core pillar. Games are another.