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Over 10,000 apps have been uploaded to Apple's App Store, which launched on July 11th with just 552 applications for the iPhone and iPod touch.
The App Store is a market where third-party developers can build applications for Apple's iPhone and iPod touch units, then sell or give them away to other users. If they sell them, Apple takes 30% of the profit; developers keep the other 70%. The App Store's success has inspired both Google and Microsoft to launch their own mobile marketplaces.
In its first weekend live, Apple sold one million iPhone 3Gs. At the time, 10 million apps were downloaded from the App Store.
30 days from launch, Apple reported 30 million dollars in App Store sales. The number of apps available swelled to 3,000 by Sept. 9 (a figure provided by Steve Jobs at the "Rock On" event), then 5,000 by the end of October — via iPodObserver. Apple reported it had exceeded 200 million App Store downloads.
As of this week, over 300 million apps have been downloaded, but CNET observes Apple has not provided a breakdown of how many downloads were free, versus paid, applications.
An App Store tribute page 148Apps.com, lists a few stats:
- About one-quarter (24%) of the 10,000+ apps are free
- 35% of them cost $.99
- The average cost, including free apps, is $3.12
- The most expensive is a $900 surveillance application
- Games and entertainment is the largest category (3,454 combined), and the second largest category is utilities (1,013)
To spread the word, Apple ran print ads in major newspapers, including The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times, touting the impressive numbers and promoting apps like games, financial institution apps, news apps, eBay's app, AIM, a Chinese translator, and travel utilities (from Apple, via CNET):
Apple also buttressed the launch with a panoply of spots that essentially "teach" users how to visit the App Store from their phones, download an app and operate it.
Recently, Apple released 50 codes that enable developers to download "promotional" apps from its App Store — a promotional model "akin to publishers sending out books to influential columnists and bloggers," Wired wrote.
Fans evangelize the App Store as well. Some built flickr mosaics out of all of the apps available.
But the App Store's trajectory hasn't always been smooth. Apple reserves the right to withdraw any apps it deems harmful or inappropriate to users. In August, this ability raised eyebrows when Apple removed an application called "I Am Rich," which, for $1000, treated paying users to the image of a glowing gem.
Eight users downloaded it, at least two by mistake, before Apple withdrew it. In an interview with the LA Times, developer Armin Heinrich of I Am Rich stated that Apple had not compensated him for the other six orders.