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The mobile user experience has been significantly altered with the arrival of mobile broadband widespread deployments, massive improvements in available smartphones, and a shift in user habits toward a more participative, communicative role. In this context, mobile application stores have revolutionized software and content delivery. These stores focus on the applications, building around them an ecosystem of developers and consumers. The store greatly lessens the barrier between these agents, providing significant benefits to both developers and consumers. In this article we analyze this phenomenon, describing its originating factors and fundamental characteristics. We also perform a more detailed study on the two most successful application stores, identifying different approaches to implementing the model.