Many people still think the iPhone app market is a chaotic melee where hits are created and then vanish in an unpredictable way. In some ways, the opposite is true: the iPhone paid download chart is extraordinarily conservative, effectively frozen in time. The entertainment industry tends to be dominated by fresh product. On December 28th, seven out of the top-10 movies in America were released within 10 days. The oldest was released 50 days earlier. Seven out of the top-10 songs on the Billboard 100 were released within the past 91 days. The NPD Group’s chart of the top-10 console games in November was ruled by brand new titles. But the mobile app market is the mesmerizing exception. Year after year, people expect
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