Apple 2.0

Covering the business that Steve Jobs built

10,000 iPhone apps -- for real this time

December 3, 2008: 6:35 PM ET

148AppsLate last week, several news outlets reported that 10,000 iPhone applications had been released on the iTunes App Store -- an odometer moment that a site called 148Apps celebrated by creating a clickable mosaic of every icon in the store.

Trouble is, nearly 325 of those Apps had been removed from iTunes, putting the total number of active programs as of last Friday at 9,676 -- a figure nowhere near as round or as satisfying.

Well, now you can break out the champagne for real. Arnold Kim, who runs AppShopper.com, reports that the App Store finally passed the 10,000 mark sometime overnight Wednesday. By Wednesday evening, he says, the count had reached 10,062. (See here.)

How does he know? He's got a program that plows through iTunes automatically, counting applications and keeping a running tally.

"It's a moving target," he says, "since developers are constantly pulling apps off iTunes for various reasons. So if an app isn't 'seen' for a period of time, then it is considered removed. And if you verify this by trying to hit the app via direct link, you'll get the 'This item not available in the U.S.' error message."

None of this is to detract from what has been achieved by Apple (AAPL), which created a venue for developers that started with 500 apps on July 11 and grew to 20 times that size in just under five months -- give or take a few days.

And even though 148Apps's tribute page still counts hundreds of AWOL programs in its current total (10,465 as of Wednesday evening), we recommend a visit, if only to check out the stats and marvel at the lovely mosaic.

148Apps, by the way, gets its name from the maximum number of applications you can install at one time on an iPhone. (9 pages x 16 = 144 + 4 in the static bar at the bottom = 148). You can load more, but they won't show up in the menu.

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About This Author
Philip Elmer-Dewitt
Philip Elmer-DeWitt
Editor, Apple 2.0, Fortune

Philip Elmer-DeWitt has been following Apple since 1982, first for Time Magazine, and now on the Web for Fortune.com.

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