Apple's App Store rockets through 100m

Following the iTunes success story, we could see it coming, I guess, and indeed after a mere 3 months of going live the mother of all black turtlenecks informs us that the Apple App Store rocketed past 100m downloads for iPhone and iPod. Impressive numbers! And another example how simplicity and a good eye for ease of use wins the day: put applications (games are apparently leading the pack, too, with no less than 700 of them [that's nearly 25% of the total available]!) into one place where a) people can find them and b) it is easy to download, install and run them, and you are on to a winner (operators, listen to this!).

However (there had to be a but, huh?), what the master of PR did not tell us is how much money was actually made with this. We hear the following stats:
  • There are 3,000 apps on the App Store, 600 of which are for free. Now, for what percentage of downloads these 20% are responsible for, we are not being told though...
  • 90% of the apps are priced at less than $10 (this will include the 20% free ones, I guess). However nothing is said if it is $9.99 that is the prevalent price point or perhaps $0.99 a pop.
The App Store certainly is a success for Apple (in particular considering the relatively low number of devices that access the store, and this deserves our unreserved applause! The only thing is: it might just be that 90% of the downloads were of the unpaid kind and another 8% of the less-than-$3.00 kind, and that would mean that it is actually not such a great success for the developers hoping to make a buck from it (rather than only showing off the funky logo on investor presentations).

The Apple App Store provides a wonderful opportunity to test market prices and all that even though there are probably a lot of people who currently publish stuff there because of its "strategic" value, which will contribute to distortions of the true numbers in terms of values and price points. However, notwithstanding those distortions it would be great if they could share somewhat more meaningful numbers with us; just so we know how hard we should try to flog to those green Apple meadows.

Oh, and, yes, I write this on a MacBook... :) 


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