Apple announced last Tuesday that its customers have downloaded more than
1.5 billion applications in the year since its iPhone App Store — “the
largest applications store in the world” — opened for business.
There was no countdown odometer this time as there was for the one
billion mark last April and no prizes for the user who downloaded
the last app.
Just a press release from Apple PR and a self-congratulatory quote from
Cupertino’s prodigal CEO:
“The App Store is like nothing the industry has ever seen before in
both scale and quality,” said Steve Jobs, who couldn’t resist adding a
small dig at the competition. “With 1.5 billion apps downloaded, it is
going to be very hard for others to catch up.”
One of the factors feeding the App Store’s growth — and in turn being
fed by it — is the size of the installed base: 40 million iPhones and
iPod touches according to Tuesday’s release, a number likely to grow
when Apple announces its fiscal third quarter earnings next week.
The other is the variety and sheer quantity of applications to choose
from — 65,000 according to Apple’s press release, 58,000 of them in
the U.S. App Store, according to 148Apps.biz’s independent count, and
another 7,000 in the App Store’s 70-plus overseas branches.
Logic would suggest that this breakneck growth can’t continue forever.
But the rate of downloads took off late last year and, as the slope of
the curve suggests, hasn’t slowed since.