Apple have been running a special odometer page in the run up to the 50 Billionth app download. Apple says that its customers have been downloading more than 800 apps per second at a rate of over 2 billion apps per month on the App Store. On Wednesday just before 2 p.m. PT Brandon Ashmore from Ohio was the lucky man to reach that milestone. For the privilege he will receive a $10,000 (£6,580) gift card.
The Apple App Store opened on 11 July 2008. The explosive growth of the app economy has made Billions for Apple and more importantly the developer community they reply on. Nokia was first to create an app store for mobile. In 2007 when the first iPhone was released, Steve Jobs was initially against allowing non Apple software on the iPhone and reportedly took months of persuasion to change his mind. A compromise was eventually made allowing apps created by third party developers to be rigerously reviewed prior to inclusion in Apple’s App Store. A revenue share was set with Apple taking a 30% share. A percentage that hasn’t gone down well with major news organisations.
The sheer number of apps available make it increasingly difficult for individual apps to get noticed. The $9bn paid to developers is unevenly distributed with a small majority receiving the lions share. Conventional marketing outside of the app store has become increasingly important requiring larger and larger budgets.
Close to a billion people now use smartphones and apps have begun to change how we think about computing. Over previous complex desktop software we now think of apps of doing one thing really well. In doing so this has changed the perceived pricing of software. Some consumer desktop software continues to cost hundreds of pounds with business software reaching higher. Apps on the other hand are at most a few dollars if not free. The choice and completeness of major apps stores have become an important weapon between companies. Microsoft and BlackBerry still suffer from missing key apps released to Apple and Google stores, for example Instagram. In additions a users continued purchasing through a particular app store tends to tie them to that platform.