Apple announces that more than 2 billion apps has been downloaded from its App Store and that its catalog now features some 85,000 apps for the iPhone and iPod Touch. Apple's success in the mobile device arena has led other companies, such as Microsoft, Palm and Research In Motion, to launch their own mobile applications stores to take advantage of a growing market for portable programs.
announced on Sept. 28 that its App Store now features 85,000 apps for its
iPhone and iPod Touch devices, and that more than 2 billion apps have been
downloaded since the service's launch in July 2008.
In a press release, Apple CEO Steve Jobs
said that users had downloaded "more than half a billion apps this quarter
alone." However, Apple did not provide a breakdown of how many of those apps
were free and how many had a price tag. The release also mentioned that some
120,000 developers are now part of Apple's iPhone Developer Program, and that
the iPod Touch and the iPhone have some 50 million customers worldwide in 77
App Store passed the 1-billion-download mark in April 2009.
Its success has
led other players within the mobile space, including Microsoft and Research In
Motion, to attempt their own application stores. In a bid to present a viable
alternative to Apple's offerings, those companies have also opened their stores
to contributions by independent developers.
Seeking to create an ecosystem of 600 applications before the October launch
of Windows Mobile 6.5, Microsoft opened its Windows Marketplace to developers
over the summer. In order to appeal to those developers seeking a higher profit
margin than they might obtain with Apple's App Store, where many feel pressure
to sell their programs for around 99 cents, Microsoft has been encouraging
those who submit programs for Windows Marketplace to charge higher prices.
Microsoft has also claimed that applications available through Marketplace
will come with a "money-back guarantee." A
Microsoft spokesperson contacted by eWEEK suggested that applications for the
store could conceivably be priced anywhere in the $0.99 to $2.99 price range
in addition to any made available for free.
"We would definitely want to promote that you make more money selling
applications than selling your application in a dollar store," Loke Uei,
senior technical product manager for Microsoft's Mobile Developer Experience
Team, told mobile application developers in Redmond, Wash., on Aug. 19.
"Ninety-nine cents. Come on, I think your app is worth more than
Other companies are likewise attempting to play catch-up in the mobile
application space with Apple, although they may have something of an uphill
climb. Palm's App Catalogue, for its WebOS mobile operating system, passed the
1 million downloads mark on June 24, while Google's Android Market and Nokia's
Ovi Store are still very much in their early stages of growth.
to Juniper Research, there will be some 20 billion mobile application downloads
per year by 2014.
"The increasing deployment of app stores targeted at
mass market handsets, allied to enhancements in storefront interfaces and an
ever-increasing array of titles appealing to wider demographics have been the
main factors driving this market," the research firm said in a July 14
statement accompanying their report on the issue.