According to Don Reisinger at TechCrunch, Apple is projected to sell 1 billion Apps quicker than 1 billion songs.
Steve Jobs recently indicated that over 100 million downloads of apps have already been recorded, with 70 million in August. At this rate, 1 billion will occur sometime in 2009, within a year of the app store opening. Songs reached that landmark in its second year of existence.
Why are apps more popular? Aren’t there more iPods and other portable MP3 players out there? Songs can be played on PCs and Macs too. With the hundreds of millions of computers and portable media players owned by people of the planet, why are apps, which are restricted to the iPhone and iPod touch (the number of these sold are a mere fraction of computers and media players) more popular?
Simple. FREE Apps. It would be interesting to see what percentage of app downloads were free? I have approximately 40 apps on my iPhone, and I paid only for 3 (Labyrinth Full, Sudoku by EA, and BrainChallenge). If all apps had a minimum fee of $0.99, I wouldn’t have even bought the iPhone. In one of my earlier posts, I cited lack of 3rd party applications as one of the reason why the 1st generation iPhone was a hype phone.
So, what can stall the growth of app downloads? I don’t think developers will stop developing free applications. But there is a danger of stale applications. Soon, developers may run out of ideas to develop new applications. iPhone sales are critical too. With the first Android phone expected this Fall/Winter, it will be interesting to see how the market reacts. Google has announced the availability of its own version of the app store for the Android platform.
The biggest disappointment with the iPhone SDK is that it only runs on Mac OSX. A lot of people I know, who happen to be developers, have shied away from developing iPhone apps simply because they do not want to invest money in buying a Mac (the cheapest Mac – Mac mini is a whooping $700 … and then there is tax, the costs associated with a keyboard, mouse and display unit).
If someone with authority from Apple happens to read this – release a version of the iPhone SDK for the Windows platform (even Win32 will do)