In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Apple CEO Steve Jobs said he’d “never seen anything like this in my career for software” when describing the first month of sales via his company’s new App Store for the iPhone and iPod touch. And what is he seeing? According to Jobs, users have downloaded more than 60 million programs during the App Store’s first month, with total sales so far of about $30 million dollars. At that rate, the App Store could generate business of $360 million a year—and that’s assuming it doesn’t grow as the iPhone gains momentum around the world.
“This thing’s going to crest a half a billion, soon,” Jobs told The Wall Street Journal. “Who knows, maybe it will be a $1 billion marketplace at some point in time.”
Following reports from the iPhone jailbreak community that the iPhone 2.0 software regularly “phones home” to Apple, Jobs also confirmed Apple has included a kill switch for iPhone applications. Saying he hoped Apple would never have to use the technology, Jobs indicated it was there in the event a program for sale via the App Store turns out to be malicious. Of course, the capability to remotely disable iPhone application does, in itself, raise concerns of abuse and user privacy—and Apple is already showing some re-thinks on applications it will permit to be sold through the App Store. For instance, the company recently yanked a $999 application called “I Am Rich” which merely displayed a luminous red gemstone. Apple has also flip-flopped on a tethering application that would let users tap into the iPhone’s 3G data capabilities from a PC.
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