Apple announced this morning that, in its first year as the key provider of apps for the iPhone, the App Store
has seen over 1.5 billion downloads. While reminding everyone that it was the first company to successfully launch a mobile phone application store in June 2008, Apple also wants to advertise its store as the largest and most popular.
And it has the numbers to prove it.
Those billions of downloads were spurred on by Apple’s encouragement for diversity and variety. Over 100,000 developers contributed to the store, which contains over 65,000 apps of all shapes and sizes, some costing the user absolutely nothing and some costing the user just a few bucks.
Some, like Google, immediately recognized the significance and high potential for the application stores. Google launched the Android Market, a place to download applications for Android-powered phones, last October. Most others, namely Blackberry, Nokia, and Palm, have come much later to the game.
Blackberry launched its App World in April, Nokia opened the Ovi Store in May, and Palm launched its App Catalog in June, alongside the launch of its answer to the iPhone, the Palm Pre. Yet, lateness does not equal failure. When there were still only 30 apps available, just 18 days after launch, the Palm Pre App Catalog reached its own milestone of one million downloads. Though not much when compared against the iPhone’s accomplishments, one million downloads is impressive for a limited selection of applications on a brand new device.
Basically, even though we all recognize Apple’s clear dominance in the mobile application store market, Apple cannot take its status for granted. It is always innovation, not stagnancy, that will draw the numbers.