With the eyes of the tech world fixed on CES this week, Apple this morning conveniently decided to issue a press release announcing that the iTunes App Store has now topped over 40 billion downloads. That's an incredible feat, to be sure, but even more incredible is that nearly half of those downloads occurred in 2012. And in December alone, iOS users downloaded over 2 billion applications, setting a monthly record in the process.
Some other tidbits from the press release include the fact that Apple's App Store now boasts over 500 million active accounts and there are now over 775,000 apps for iOS devices.
It has been an incredible year for the iOS developer community,” Apple executive Eddy Cue said in the press release. “Developers have made over seven billion dollars on the App Store, and we continue to invest in providing them with the best ecosystem so they can create the most innovative apps in the world.”
While competing app stores have seen an increase in the total number of applications available and the total number of applications downloaded, the one area where Apple is by far the king of the hill just happens to be the most important - developer revenue. It may be easy to gloss over, but let this sink in for a minute - since the iTunes App Store first launched, Apple has paid out over $7 billion to developers.
Google will periodically boast about how many downloads they see on the Android Marketplace, but it's no coincidence that they've never ever released the amount of money they've shared with developers thus far. Consequently, the iOS App Store remains the app store of choice for many developers who are actually looking to make a significant profit from their applications.
Even more appealing for developers is that the iTunes App Store is now available in 155 countries around the world, providing a customer base that other app stores simply can't match.
CES may be all the rage this week but Apple's interestingly timed press release may be Cupertino's not so subtle way of alerting the tech community that we shouldn't forget who's still on top.
Lastly, and to provide some context for the accelerated growth of the App Store, Apple in March 2012 announced that consumers had downloaded 25 billion applications since the app store first opened up in July 2008. So that's 40 months to 25 billion downloads and just 10 months more to reach 40 billion.