Apple recently made available to the press a new app store statistic. Namely, over 15 billion apps have been downloaded from the iOS app store so far. That’s about 386 apps every second, or 23,160 apps per minute . IS THAT CRAZY OR… wait… it’s not? This actually won’t surprise most people who keep track of Apple’s activity even casually, as the success of the app store has been obvious since month one. The massive number of apps that has been available to iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad users is a large factor in the platform’s popularity, even going so far as to stay ahead of Google’s promising Android operating system. Apple also put emphasis on the following already known statistics:
- 425,000+ apps are in the app store
- 100,000+ of these apps are native iPad apps
- 200+ million users of iDevices worldwide
- $2.5 billion has been paid to developers
Don’t let the number fool you. Although 15 billion apps would be enough for 2 for every person on Earth, they are obviously not spread out evenly. I, for one, have over 350 apps on my iPod Touch. Most of them I only opened once, and then they were left, forever forgotten. I would guess that there are a large number of iOS users like me that download an absurd number of apps that are rarely ever looked at.
Let’s take a look at the history of the App Store. It was first released on iOS version 2 on July 10, 2008. By July 14 of 2008, there were 10 million app downloads. On october 22 of 2008, there were 200 million. The next year, in July 14 of 2009, there were 1.5 billion. On November 4th of 2009, there were 2 billion. June 7th of 2010, 5 billion. This January, the 10 billionth app was downloaded (they even had a countdown and $10,000 prize for it). And now, July of 2011, 15 billion downloads. Wow.
In second place comes the Android market with a mere 5 billon app downloads to date. Impressive, but not nearly as many as the app store. Chances are this has something to do with the relatively small (150,000) collection of apps in the Android market. People like quantity and variety. It is also important to take into account that iOS was released a full 6 months before Android. That’s 6 extra months to gain more users. However, the rate at which new Android apps are released surpasses that of the App Store quite a bit. In fact, the number of Android apps will probably outnumber iOS apps by late 2012. Although this is the case, Apple regulates apps that make it into the store, while Google lets anything in. The quality of apps suffers.
The last thing I want to point out has to do with a study done by Nielson. The average iOS user spends about 14.7 hours a month playing games, while the average mobile device user plays for about 7.8 hours a month. That’s saying something. One reason this is the case probably has something to do with the percentage of apps in the App store that are games. That percentage is 64% to be exact. Another thing that likely contributes to the popularity of games in the app store is the demographic of many iOS users. That is, many iOS users are minors. More so than Android users.
Below is the word-for-word press release published by Apple:
Apple’s App Store Downloads Top 15 Billion
CUPERTINO, California—July 7, 2011—Apple® today announced that over 15 billion apps have been downloaded from its revolutionary App Store™ by the more than 200 million iPhone®, iPad® and iPod touch® users worldwide. The App Store offers more than 425,000 apps and developers have created an incredible array of over 100,000 native iPad apps.
“In just three years, the revolutionary App Store has grown to become the most exciting and successful software marketplace the world has ever seen,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. “Thank you to all of our amazing developers who have filled it with over 425,000 of the coolest apps and to our over 200 million iOS users for surpassing 15 billion downloads.”
“We sparked musical magic when iPhone users experienced Ocarina three years ago,” said Dr. Ge Wang, a Smule co-founder and assistant professor at Stanford’s Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics. “And now with iPad, we’ve created the Magic Piano and Magic Fiddle apps. Who could’ve dreamt an iPad would make its way into the San Francisco Symphony?”
“iPad provides us with an unparalleled mobile device for creating gorgeous, immersive games,” said Mark Rein, vice president and co-founder of Epic Games. “Infinity Blade has been a runaway hit with customers around the world and we couldn’t be more excited about our success on iOS devices.”
“We’re bringing Martha Stewart, Angelina Ballerina, Sesame Street and many more of the world’s most popular books and magazines to iPad,” said Nicholas Callaway, CEO of Callaway Digital Arts. “We knew the iPad was going to be a revolutionary storytelling device, but never could have anticipated it would become so popular, so quickly.”
More than 15 billion apps have been downloaded from the revolutionary App Store and more than 425,000 apps are available, including more than 100,000 native iPad apps, to consumers in 90 countries. Users of the more than 200 million iOS devices around the world can choose from an incredible range of apps in 20 categories, including games, business, news, education, sports, health, reference and travel. Apple has paid developers over $2.5 billion to date.
Apple designs Macs, the best personal computers in the world, along with OS X, iLife, iWork and professional software. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store. Apple has reinvented the mobile phone with its revolutionary iPhone and App Store, and has recently introduced iPad 2 which is defining the future of mobile media and computing devices.