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Summary:

If there was any doubt that Apple’s Apps Store was a monster hit, today’s news should put that to rest. A mere four months after the company announced that a billion apps had been downloaded in the store, Apple today said that the number of downloads […]

If there was any doubt that Apple’s Apps Store was a monster hit, today’s news should put that to rest. A mere four months after the company announced that a billion apps had been downloaded in the store, Apple today said that the number of downloads had crossed the two billion mark.

Apple said there are more than 85,000 apps available to the more than 50 million iPhone and iPod touch owners worldwide and over 125,000 developers in Apple’s iPhone Developer Program. As for downloads, it took nine months for Apple to hit the first billion. On April 24, 2009, there were 35,000 applications in the iTunes app store, showing that despite new competition from folks like Google’s Android, the company is not losing traction with developers.

As the Apple App Store grows bigger and bigger, the company faces newer challenges, especially those of discoverability. This is a recurring problem faced by app developers who are trying to build a business. (Related research from GigaOM Pro, sub required: Is Marketing Key to Mobile App Success? and Surveying the Mobile App Store Landscape.)

While many of the apps on the Apple platform are gimmicky and don’t retain much traction, a growing number of games and news applications are fast becoming constant features in the lives of iPhone/iPod touch owners.

  1. “There’s no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share.” – Steve Balmmer April 29, 2007

    http://www.usatoday.com/money/companies/management/2007-04-29-ballmer-ceo-forum-usat_N.htm

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    1. Hey in hind sight he is wrong ;-)

      Never mind… I think it is going to be interesting to see how Microsoft responds. I am hoping they get WinMo 7 out pretty quickly.

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      1. “interesting to see how Microsoft responds”. Microsoft has had two years and nine months since the iPhone announcement and demo at Macworld 2007. If with all their essentially limitless resources they haven’t responded yet (heck, even near bankrupt Palm managed to respond), they never will. Sure, they’ll release WinMo 6.5. and 7, but they will be lucky if they can compete with Android and WebOS. Forget about the iPhone — that ship has sailed.

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      2. The only response to innovation is …innovation. So there will *never* be a response from Microsoft.

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      3. I’m not sure WinMo7 is going to matter in terms of apps. I thought Microsoft would have more apps than most platforms, but just saw their own press release from February of this year. When they announced their app store, they said there were over 20,000 apps for Windows Mobile: https://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2009/feb09/02-16MWCPR.mspx

        I then saw their press release from when they introduced WinMo 5.0. Back then they said they had 18,000 apps. Yikes!

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    2. Just to be clear about my comment about how Microsoft responds, I am thinking when they introduce the new WinMo 7 and the much rumored Zune Phone.

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  2. Apple’s lead in number of Applications and Downloads and 3rd-party Accessories makes it extremely difficult for any competitor to catch up.

    Unlike Microsoft, Apple is in a commanding lead because it simply made the best product and people came. Apple did not have to force people to buy Apple (unlike what Microsoft did).

    Face it, any competitor is fighting for second place.

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    1. Agreed, but I wouldn’t count out Android just yet… at the end of 2010 the real market share picture is going to emerge and give us a better idea.

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  3. I am hoping the statistics in this post combined with that Ballmer quote will cause Microsoft shareholders to remove him from the board.

    Not a lawyer, but isn’t that the “fiduciary duty” thingy?

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    1. Todd,

      I think we can’t expect Steve to say anything other than what he said. I mean, he can’t say that WinMo is screwed :-)

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  4. Impressive stats but any figures on how many paid apps downloaded? and revenues from paid apps?

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    1. Arjun

      We had some stats in the past, but nothing *official* from Apple just yet.

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    2. Arjun you can check the report we issued a few weeks ago that estimates that

      http://www.slideshare.net/misteroo/appsfire-app-store-market-real-data-insights

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      1. Thanks Ouriel. That helps. Appreciate it.

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  5. How many of those 85,000 apps are actually worth anything? Don’t get me wrong, I wish Apple well and all… it is more a question of curiosity.

    It seems like most of those apps have no real value (remember shaking baby). How many of the 2 billion apps were given away for free?

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    1. +1

      I think Chris makes the key point. Volume, in this case, is actually near meaningless. The App store has huge numbers of applications similiar to the desktop software market in the mid to late 90′s. Awareness, discoverability, and reuse value were decimated with the only winner being……. Microsoft.

      I think when smartphone browsers provide a very rich user experience for a critical mass of phones in the market, Apple’s App Store, as well as all the others will fall by the wayside leaving developer roadkill worldwide.

      Developers should be fighting the problems of awareness, discoverability, and reuse with killer Internet applications and services, not thin clients with the life expectancy of flies.

      My $.02.

      Best,

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    2. I agree i’d say a good percentage of the apps in the app store are completely useless. How many apps have you downloaded, used once, and never touched again?

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  6. of course you’re going to see continued exponential growth here in this stat because they count an update to an existing app as a download….

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    1. FUD – Apple have explicitly said that these download numbers DO NOT include updates!

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  7. god lock in is good for business !! I hope Android marketplace will kicks butt out of iphone in 2010

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  8. I’ve downloaded more than 100 aps but now only use Showtimes, NeuroMobile and a few news readers. If this usage pattern projects to others not many apps are used regularly. I have yet to find any data on usage. The 85K number seems inflated.

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  9. For a contrary view to the predominant, US-centric view posed here and quite too often by the analysts and journalists, read “iPhone’s global success is more marketing myth than reality” here http://www.betanews.com/joewilcox/article/iPhones-global-success-is-more-marketing-myth-than-reality/1254361557

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