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Sunday, June 14, 2009

IPhone App downloads surpass 1 Billion

It only took 9 months for Apple IPhone users to download more than 1 billion apps for their revolutionary SmartPhone platform. And that is music to the ears of Connor Mulcahey, age 13, of Weston, CT. As luck would have it, Connor was the lucky recipient of a $10,000 iTunes gift card, an iPod touch, a Time Capsule and a MacBook Pro all for downloading Bump, a free social networking app created by Bump Technologies at the App Store on ITunes. And the reason for Connors good fortune was that his selection just happened to be the 1 billionth App downloaded from the App Store and earned him the coveted title of Grand Prize Winner in Apple’s one billion app countdown contest. Talk about being at the right place at the right time.
What is more remarkable, unless you’re Connor Mulcahey, is the fact that one billion Apps were downloaded in only 9 months. For now the App Store is the only place where IPhone and IPod touch users can legally download apps. With a selection that has reportedly ranged between ten and twenty thousand different apps at one time or another – currently there are four thousand apps available – in twelve distinct categories there seems to be no limit to the variety and scope of the present slate of applications for the IPhone and its compatible IPod touch.
Many of the apps developed for the IPhone are homegrown applications created with the Apple’s blessing. Once registered as an IPhone Developer – sign-up is free but there are two program platforms that come with either a $99 price tag for the Standard Program or $299 for the Enterprise Program – you have access to a set of software development tools that enable code writers to create their own software for the IPhone or the IPod touch.
Many clever entrepreneurs have earned a considerable amount of money creating apps for the IPhone. Apple, through its single hand-held device marketing arm - the App Store on ITunes - offers both free and non-free apps. Apple markets and distributes these apps for a 30% fee. Currently over 17 million IPhones have been sold. The release of the next-generation IPhones in June 2009 – the lower-priced 3G and the impressive 3G S – should boost the overall universe of Apple’s SmartPhone users. Some industry experts predict that the number of IPhones could more than double by next year. That means nearly 35 million units will be vying for apps of all sorts and sizes. It has been noted that one of the key factors driving sales is the breadth and variety of applications available for the Apple IPhone and its Wi-Fi enabled techno sibling – the IPhone touch. So if it took 9 months to reach 1 billion app downloads, the question is how long until it hits 2 billion and more. And I always thought that the number of burgers sold by McDonalds was a number that would never be surpassed.
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