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2 Billion iPhone Apps Downloaded, Apple Says

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 (s goog) 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.

22 Responses to “2 Billion iPhone Apps Downloaded, Apple Says”

  1. 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.

  2. 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?

    • +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,

  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?

  4. 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.