When the Yahoo directory launched it was a great way to showcase some of the best web sites - but with exponential growth of web pages - it could not keep up and search replaced the browse function. The growth of the apps stores, the fact that they are being so "controlled" means that there must be a similar change in the current model. When the iPhone launched, developers had to build web apps - but the web browser was not sophisticated enough. With the launch of the iPhone SDK we saw the surge of iphone apps, aided by Apple's iTunes distribution and payment systems. However, the problems over search and discovery, inconsistent approval procedures, arbitrary rejects, a reviews system that can be gamed and an awful search and discovery process is leaving developers and customers disillusioned. Google sees the opportunity to try and own the mobile browser and the development of apps within the browser. Sure, it's not there yet and will take a number of years to flush out but the directional indicators are pretty clear. Apps stores have some short term advantages but go long on the mobile browser. Certain segments such as mobile banking will never develop mobile apps because of security issues, esp caching. Banks and finance institutions will develop apps in the mobile browser and wrap them in an App skin to get maximum distribution but their focus is all on the mobile browser. Apple's success with the Apps store may blind them to the mobile browser opportunities. However, the recent moves by Google many give them significant pause for thought.