iPhone app store turns 1: Anyone making real money?

July 6, 2009: 11:10 AM ET

A year ago this week Apple opened the floodgates and began letting software developers sell software for the iPhone, and geeks everywhere caught iPhone fever.

Since then Apple's iTunes App Store has swelled to more than 50,000 titles, logged more than 1 billion downloads, and inspired an entrepreneurial surge that's reminiscent of the dot-com gold rush -- only without the illusion that everyone is making tons of money.

In fact, aside from Apple and AT&T, it's hard to point to many folks that are raking in a pile of iPhone cash quite yet. Matt Murphy, a venture capitalist at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, guesses that as many as 95% of the developers building iPhone apps "aren't trying to build a company on the iPhone" -- they're just hobbyists making a little money on the side, or companies using fun iPhone apps as marketing vehicles.

The world is still waiting for the equivalents of eBay, Amazon, or Yahoo -- the groundbreaking new companies that will redefine and inspire the mobile ecosystem.

Not that people like Murphy are discouraged.

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