Since the launch of the iTunes App Store several years ago, users of Apple’s smartphones and other mobile devices have downloaded 10 billion applications.
Demand for software for these devices has grown tremendously. It took 18 months for the iTunes store to pass the three billion downloads mark, but another seven billion apps were downloaded in just the next twelve months.
Apple’s software store offers more than 350,000 apps to the 160 million iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad users in 90 countries around the world.
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.
Only tremendous demand from users forced Apple to change course, and the App Store debuted with the launch of the second-generation iPhone in mid-2008.
A Paradigm Shift
When Apple introduced its software store, the idea of an on-device application store was hardly a new one, but the early versions met with limited success. The immense popularity of the iPhone version caused Apple’s competitors to open their own versions.
These days, app stores can be found on devices running the Android OS, BlackBerry OS, iOS, Symbian OS, webOS, and Windows Phone 7.