At the launch of the App Store in July 2008 few could have predicted how much apps would change our lives but as the Apps store turns five the ability of apps to add whatever functionality a developer can dream up, through the addition of a tiny piece of software that usually costs pennies, means we do things a whole lot differently today! Whether we are monitoring a fitness drive, relaxing with a time-wasting game or talking to our cats (Human to Cat Translator) our mobiles have become the medium by which to do it. Here are five fascinating facts and figures to celebrate:
1) Ten million downloads in the first weekend
Apps were popular even at their launch. The 552 initial apps available in the App Store included the likes of Facebook and Shazam. Although only one in five was free they still proved popular and were downloaded 10 million times in the first weekend alone.
2) 50 billion downloads today
Within two months downloads increased ten-fold to 100 million and within six months 500 million with 15,000 apps in the store. Downloads had doubled again to 1 billion in April 2009 – three months short of the first anniversary but by October 2011 Apple said customers were downloading a billion apps a month from a pool of half a million apps within the store. Today more than 800 apps are downloaded each second and as of last month there were more than 900,000 apps in the App Store with downloads surpassing 50 billion.
3) In-app purchases have driven gaming
The opening up of in-app purchases to free apps in October 2009 also changed the market – especially in the gaming arena. This year 44 of the top 50 top grossing iPhone games made their cash from in-app purchases.
4) $10 billion paid to developers
Although Apple takes a 30% cut of sales – whether that’s the app price, subscriptions or in-app purchases — the remaining 70% goes to the developer. By June 2010 Apple had paid out more than $1 billion to developers. Three years later that figure exceeds $10 billion. The sale of Instagram for $1 billion to Facebook two years after its launch showed how wealthy an app can make its developers.
5) Time-killing apps prove the most popular
The most downloaded paid for app is Rovio’s Angry Birds whilst the most popular free app is Facebook which at the end of 2008 alone had been downloaded five million times.
Our app focused lives will just keep on growing too – especially given that Apple’s android peer Google Play, which launched three months after Apple as the Android Market and was relaunched as Google Play in March last year, has more than 975,000 apps available to download.
How have apps changed your life in the last five years and what is the one app you couldn’t do without?