Apple has announced that more than two billion apps have been downloaded from its App Store since it launched in mid-2008.
“The rate of App Store downloads continues to accelerate with users downloading a staggering two billion apps in just over a year, including more than half a billion apps this quarter alone,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “The App Store has reinvented what you can do with a mobile handheld device, and our users are clearly loving it.”
A Brief History of the iPhone App Store
When the original iPhone was announced in early 2007, Apple said it would not allow other companies to release native software for this smartphone. Instead, they could only make Web apps that ran in the browser.
For the entire first year this device was on the market, native third-party applications were blocked. This lead to a significant percentage of devices being “jail-broken” — modified to remove this restriction.
It was only with the launch of the second-generation iPhone that Apple removed this limitation, and the App Store was the result.
Lots of Competition
When Apple launched its software store, the idea of an on-device application store was hardly a new one — companies like Handango have offered them for years –but the early ones met with limited success. The popularity of the iPhone version has breathed new life into this concept, and virtually all of Apple’s competitors are seeking to imitate this accomplishment.
Both Google’s Android OS and Palm’s webOS debuted with a software store part of their basic feature set, RIM has launched the BlackBerry App World, while Nokia has the Ovi Store. In addition, Microsoft will introduce an application store for Windows Mobile devices next month.