Updated-Apple boasts 1.5 billion App downloads

July 14, 2009

(Updated to reflect that Apple was referring to application downloads, not application sales.  Many iPhone apps are free.)

Apple Inc impressed the tech world with the rapid take off of its applications store, announcing on April 24th that it had sold 1 billion apps downloads in just 9 months to users of its iPhone and its iPod Touch.

That was just for starters. Now it says it has sold seen another half a billion apps downloaded in around a third of that time, showing that its growth is speeding up despite the fact that its rivals have all opened their own apps stores.

App developers appear to be taking notice too as Apple says it now has 65,000 apps available in its store ready for download to the 40 million iPod Touch and iPhone devices it has sold.

How will its rivals — Android from Google, BlackBerry from Rim, Windows Marketplace from Microsoft and Ovi from Nokia — ever get a break with that kind of competition?

But could it really be just a coincidence that Apple revealed its numbers on the same day that Techcruch notes Microsoft is expected to kick off its Worldwide Partner Conference in New Orleans with an announcement of the opening of its mobile app developmer program?

Keep an eye on:

  • NY Daily News owner Mort Zuckerman describes an analyst’s prediction — that Rupert Murdoch could buy the paper instead of New York Times — as “total fiction” (DailyFinance)
  • FT Tweets that it has an iPhone App (Techcruch)
  • Michael Jackson family says concert plans were too much for him (Reuters)
  • Netbook shipments to double this year (PCWorld)

(Photo: Reuters)


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How many of these “purchases” were free downloads? I personally have purchased 2 applications for my iPod touch and have downloaded 50 free ones…

Posted by Phillip | Report as abusive

Apple’s press release says 1.5 milliard _downloads_. As many apps are free, that’s a very different kettle of fish to 1.5 milliard _purchases_.

Posted by Ian Kemmish | Report as abusive

They have produced 1.5 billion downloads with the App Store. This is a far cry from 1.5 billion legitimate purchases. I’d like to see the actual number of legitimate paid apps that were downloaded. If most people are like me they download every free app they can and at least try it and like most free things, find it to be worthless garbage and chuck it. I have friends that have like 70~ apps (99% are free) or so on their phones and they still only ever use texting and calling on the phone forgetting the names of most of the garbage they’ve downloaded to their phones. Apple has become very suave when it comes to producing “glittery” press releases. I love my iPod and my iPhone at one time (I’ve since moved on to a G1) but honestly, I find it hard to believe that they’ve sold 1.5 billion paid apps.

Posted by Mike | Report as abusive

Good point. I’ve updated the post.

Posted by Sinead Carew | Report as abusive

It is beautiful to see how interaction with users shapes the truth of the news.

Posted by Matt | Report as abusive

Whether or not the downloaded apps were purchased or not, it still represents a significant phenomenon. Mike’s comment that 99% are free is far from the truth. Only about 25% are free. It could still be, of course, that the 25% represents 90-odd percent of the downloads.

Also, while a lot of apps get downloaded and tossed, I now have a core set of apps that I use pretty regularly. If you just use the phone to call and text, you shouldn’t be wasting cash on an iPhone. For me, it replaces a laptop for a lot of purposes.

Posted by Brad | Report as abusive

[…] an independent app store, yesterday announced 1.5 billion app downloads in its first year of […]

Posted by Independent app store hits its own milestone | The Apps Law Blog | Report as abusive