It’s a big day for Apple. The company announced it has passed the 40 billion download mark for its App Store, with that number deriving from unique downloads – rather than updates or multiple downloads of the same app – since the App Store’s creation in 2008. Even more impressively, almost half of that number came from 2012 alone.
“It has been an incredible year for the iOS developer community,” Apple’s Senior Vice President of Internet Software and Services, Eddy Cue said an announcement released Monday morning. Cue also added that “developers have made over seven billion dollars on the App Store, and we continue to invest in providing them with the best ecosystem so they can create the most innovative apps in the world.”
To create some sense of context, Apple released a raft of figures that aimed to demonstrate just how successful the App Store has become. The company reported that the App Store currently offers more than 775,000 aps to iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch users across 155 countries, including more than 300,000 native iPad apps alone. Not only was 2012 the most successful year by far when it comes to App downloads (with nearly 20 billion downloads for the twelve month period), it ended on a highpoint with December seeing two billion app downloads by itself. More importantly, the number of iPads, iPods and iPhones given as holiday presents resulted in a whole new audience ready to see what new apps are out there.
The Apple PR announcing the milestone came with testimonials from companies who have released apps via the App Store as to the wealth (both metaphorical and literal) that has been shared throughout the app ecosystem as a result of Apple’s success. “Our success on iOS has been incredible,” reported Samir Hanna, vice president of Consumer Products for Autodesk, going on to say “We set off with the modest goal of bringing SketchBook to iPhone users as a way of introducing them to Autodesk. Fast forward three years, we now offer 20 apps to iOS users that have achieved more than 50 million downloads, and we continue to roll out new creativity and design tools that appeal to both professionals and consumers.” Movie director and Star Trek empresario J.J. Abrams added “The App Store provided us with opportunities beyond our wildest dreams” in reference to Bad Robot’s Action Movie FX app. “We’re just thrilled that millions of fans around the world were as excited as we were about the possibilities that this app brings.”
The obvious question now is whether the velocity of app downloads will continue to increase over the next year or whether the two billion in one month figure represents a high water mark. How long before Apple’s App Store hits its 100 billionth download? Probably not too far away at all.