The iPhone App Store has reached its first anniversary, and Apple has announced that owners of its smartphones and handhelds have used it to download 1.5 billion software titles.
The App Store offers more than 65,000 apps, and over 100,000 people have signed up in the iPhone Developer program.
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 software for this smartphone. 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
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 App Store 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 recently launched the BlackBerry App World, while Nokia has the Ovi Store. In addition, Microsoft will introduce an application store for Windows Mobile devices this fall.