Apple announced that iPhone users have racked up more than 1.5 billion application downloads in just one year. The App Store now boasts more than 65,000 apps available to consumers in 77 countries and more than 100,000 developers in the iPhone Developer Program.
The success of Apple’s app store model has prompted many of the firm’s rivals to imitate its strategy, with the firm now offering a direct channel for application developers to target over 40 million iPhone and iPod Touch devices.
The announcement perhaps demonstrates the marketing power Apple has at its disposal, but also shows how the launch of the iPhone App Store has raised awareness about apps in general.
The App Store has facilitated nearly 17 million downloads of the Opera Mini web browser; over 16 million downloads of eBuddy instant messaging; 14 million downloads of Nimbuzz mobile messaging; 10 million downloads of mig33 mobile community; and over 5 million downloads of Google Maps for mobile.
The large screens, touch interfaces and advanced functionalities such as accelerometers that are now found on top tier smartphones have certainly captured the imagination of the industry. A small section of the global user base has also proven itself to be enthusiastic for these developments and this has led to suggestions that the future of mobile advertising must be bound inextricably with the future of the application model of mobile internet usage. Advertising will do better, runs the theory, when it appears within applications rather than simple on web pages.