The same could be (and probably was) said about the Atari game collection.
The iTunes App Store is reported to have 1.5 million apps, whereas the Atari 2600 game collection listing contains around 565 games (and the Atari ST, if we're talking about that 505).
So, yeah, from a pure quantity perspective I'd expect quite a lot more opportunities to fall upon shovel-ware among 1.500.000 million titles than among 500.
And even if both had the same ratio of good apps, e.g. 0.5% this still leaves 7500 good apps on the App Store (more than I'd ever need or could even have time to use), and about 3 good apps on the Atari collection.
In both cases, the sheer quantity of total garbage content gets in the way of individuals finding high quality content that meets their needs and expectations.
Whether the absolute number of quality apps is fairly high
or not is entirely beside the point.
This is all about a) perception, and b) accessibility. If the perception of apps is that they're garbage, and that perception is backed up by an experience that makes finding quality content difficult, that's a problem, whether there's 100 quality apps or 100,000.
I didn't brought up the Atari metaphor. I'm just calling it bogus for 2 reasons: you can't possibly curate and rank 1500000 items the way you could 500 (like Atari had). And you don't need to.
A large amount of crap in such quantities of items is both expected and inconsequential. Nobody calls Amazon a bad shop because it sells all kinds of crap products among the good, or asks them to curate their offerings.
>In both cases, the sheer quantity of total garbage content gets in the way of individuals finding high quality content that meets their needs and expectations.
That hasn't been the case in any other field. There are tons of garbage consumer electronic devices, but people do manage to find and buy good stuff. Tons of bad movies and records, but people do manage to find compelling stuff they like. Tons of crap on Amazon, but people still buy all the good stuff they like.
What I'm saying is, when one is talking about a "shop" with 1 million and more items, it's both totally expected and totally irrelevant that tons of it will be crap.
I don't see any perception problem either. It's mainly small developers who complain about that, implying that their apps should be highlighted by the Apple Store etc -- as if that's even possible when there are 100s of thousands of devs asking for the same thing.
Like with every other huge market, physical or digital, people just search and buy first and foremost the well known and trusted apps (Facebook, Google Maps, Paper, Angry Birds, whatever). Those are the ones created by big players (e.g. Google, Microsoft), the ones talked about in the media, the ones highlighted in review sites, and the ones that get word of mouth and traction for them.
And they can find these easily, by name, affiliate links, etc, whether there are 100 or 10000000 other apps in the store.