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.