App Store hits quarter-million apps for sale

SubhamAugust 30, 2022
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August 30, 2010: Just two years after opening its virtual doors, the iOS App Store passes a key milestone: one-quarter of a million apps for sale.

It’s a massive demonstration of success for a service Apple CEO Steve Jobs didn’t even initially want to offer.

App Store sales prove digital distribution is the future

The App Store’s success reminded anyone who was paying attention that the digital distribution model Apple pioneered with the iTunes Music Store was no fluke. Launched in 2003, iTunes became the biggest music vendor in the world by the middle of 2010, with a whopping 10 billion downloads sold.

At that time, the App Store was still in its infancy, though. Nonetheless, it was maturing quite quickly as a platform. Apple launched its “There’s an app for that” slogan the previous year. And a glance at the App Store’s sprawling selection showed a broad range of apps filling virtually every niche.

The number of accepted apps actually had climbed past 300,000 by this point. However, roughly 50,000 were no longer available in the App Store.

And the success continues: These days, nearly 10 times as many apps are available. (As of August 2022, the App Store offers roughly 2.2 million apps, according to Statista.)

The iOS App Store: Big enough to matter

A look at the makeup of apps in the App Store in 2010
A look at the makeup of apps in the App Store in 2010.

In 2010, the App Store still represented a relatively small slice of Apple’s business. Although App Store sales by mid-2010 totaled $1.43 billion, Apple’s gross profit was “just” $189 million after costs were taken into consideration. (Apple took 30% of sales.)

Nonetheless, the App Store helped drive the sale of iPhones and iPads. Its success, even by this point, was certainly enough to change the mind of Jobs, who had been reluctant to open up the App Store to developers in its earliest days.

These days, it’s an unmitigated success story. In a June 2021 press release, Apple said the “App Store ecosystem facilitated $643 billion in billings and sales during 2020.” The 24% year-over-year increase showcased the incredible power of the App Store.

However, the App Store’s continuing success raises questions and potential pitfalls for Cupertino. Antitrust regulators in the United States and abroad increasingly question whether Apple should be allowed to maintain absolute control of its money machine. The Department of Justice reportedly is prepping an antitrust suit against Apple.

“To date, much of the attention on a potential Justice Department case against Apple has focused on its App Store, the only way for users to download applications on iPhones and iPads,” wrote Politico, citing anonymous sources familiar with the DOJ’s investigation. “But the case DOJ is now considering extends well beyond the Apple-controlled payment system and the high commissions that have drawn the ire of software developers for years.”

What was your first App Store download?

Do you remember when you downloaded your first app? Or what it was? Make sure to leave your comments below.


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