Apple 2.0

Covering the business that Steve Jobs built

Snapshot of the iPhone App Store: One year later

July 11, 2009: 6:42 AM ET

148Apps App Store flowerApple's (AAPL) App Store opened early on the morning of July 10, 2008 with an update to iTunes, although it wasn't until the next day -- with the launch of iPhone OS 2.0 -- that the applications it contained could be downloaded and put to use on iPhones or iPod touches.

There were more than 500 third-party apps in the store that morning. One year later, there are more than 56,000, according to 148Apps.biz, and that doesn't include the thousands of apps offered in the store's 60 or so foreign branches.

Jeff Scott, who runs 148Apps (named for the maximum number of applications that could be displayed on the original iPhone) gathers his information from the store itself by running a variety of automated data grabbers. His latest count, as of July 10, 2009:

Total Active Apps (currently available for download): 56,667

Total Inactive Apps (no longer available for download): 4,005

Total Apps Seen in US App Store: 60,672

Number of Active Publishers in the US App Store: 14,935

According to Apple, the one billionth app was downloaded at approximately 4:50 a.m. on April 23, 2009, by Conner Mulcahey, 13, of Weston, Conn. There is no official explanation for what he was doing up so early in the morning, checking out a contact-swapping app called Bump, but for his pains Apple awarded him an iPod touch, a Time Capsule, a MacBook Pro and a $10,000 iTunes gift card.

Growth of the store, as represented by the bar graph below, has been accelerating fairly steadily, with an average of 135 new app submissions every day. There were 1,630 submissions in August 2008 and 8,762 in June 2009.

appCountGraph

The average price of an app, including both the 12,754 free apps and the most expensive app (a video surveillance program called iRa with a $899.99 price tag) is $2.57.

If you wanted to buy every app in the U.S. store today, according to 148Apps, it would cost you $145,885.87.

The most popular category in the store is games, with a total of 10,346 to choose from, closely followed by Entertainment (7,852) and Books (7,564). There are 9097 finance programs, 663 medical apps, 306 weather applications, and according to Krapps.com's Alex Miro, at least 50 fart apps.

Click here to see our (fart-free) picks for the 10 dumbest iPhone apps.

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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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