Apple had earlier reported that 10 million apps were downloaded in the first three days after launch. By July 21, that number had reached 25 million (see here). The latest number suggests that downloads have accelerated in the last 10 days, from July 21st's 1.25 apps per day to the current 2 apps per day.
Relations between Apple (AAPL) and its developers have not been smooth, however (see Trouble in the App Store). Jobs commented on one of the hot-button issues: He confirmed that the iPhone operating system contains a kill switch that gives Apple the capability to reach into an iPhone (presumably during a sync operation) and remove a malicious application.
"Hopefully we never have to pull that lever, but we would be irresponsible not to have a lever like that to pull," he said.
Separately, an Apple spokeswoman defended the decision to pull a program called I Am Rich, which cost $999.99 and did nothing but display the image of a ruby on the iPhone's screen, off the App Store shelves. She characterized it as a "judgment call."
Jobs did not use the occasion of the iPhone 3G's one-month anniversary to report how many of the devices Apple has sold. He may be saving that number for another day -- and another round of headlines.
[Fortune's Scott Moritz reported Monday that at least one analyst puts iPhone sales for the first month at 3 million units. See here.]
UPDATE: Gigaom's Om Malik, who says he has downloaded three dozen apps but only likes four of them, adds some interesting data about how many of those 60 million apps are in active use. He cites research by New York-based Pinch Media, which reports that free downloads to paid downloads is about 10 to 1. Moreover:
"According to data collected by Pinch Media, on average, less than 20% of an application's overall unique users return to an application each day. [CEO Greg] Yardley also pointed out that people are using the apps for just under five minutes at a time, on average. The majority only use the applications once per day - average number of uses per day is around 1.2." (link)
It's been a confusing week for both sellers and buyers at the App Store -- the venue for third party software that is the best thing to happen to the iPhone (except maybe the price cuts) since it arrived more than a year ago.
The iPhone 3G is OK, if you manage battery consumption very carefully. And Mobile Me is slowly getting up to speed (see here). But the App Store MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Aug 9, 2008 4:51 AM ET
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