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Apple Breaks 10B Apps ThresholdApple Breaks 10B Apps Threshold

Apple continues to lead the pack in mobile apps, the little widgets that will increasingly make or break a mobile phone for consumers

Sarah Thomas

January 24, 2011

2 Min Read
Apple Breaks 10B Apps Threshold

Less than three years after launching its App Store, Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) has broken the 10 billion-applications-downloaded barrier.

At this time last year, downloads were at 3 billion, meaning 7 billion were downloaded in 2010 alone, a 233 percent climb. (See Apple App Store Hits 10B Downloads and Apple Touts 3B App Store Downloads .)

Apple first announced its game-changing App Store in July of 2008 with just over 500 iPhone and iPod Touch apps. Today, it houses more than 350,000 apps, 60,000 of which are native to the iPad, and it adds new ones at a rate of 1,000 per day for its 160 million iOS device users. The 10 billionth app downloaded was a free game called Paper Glider, downloaded by a British woman who received a $10,000 iTunes gift certificate for her lucky timing.

Why this matters
Apple's App Store has been the catalyst for the biggest change in mobile apps that the industry has ever seen. Apps went from a handful of operator-offered ringtones and games to hundreds of thousands of games, productivity aids, utility services and everything in between. The balance of power shifted from the wireless operators to the operating system too. It's a balance the operators –- and nearly every handset maker and OS in the industry -– have been working to shake ever since.

The App Store model is resonating with consumers too, making apps one of the most important considerations for new handset purchases. Ted Shelton, CEO of mobile consultancy Open-First, says that apps are more important to most consumers than the operating system or handset design. He believes that the OS is just the gateway to how consumers access apps, and they will disregard certain platforms that don't offer the apps they want.

"In the U.S. market, consumers are becoming sophisticated in understanding they will spend most of the time running third-party apps," Shelton says. "The functionality they purchase after the fact is the functionality that makes it most valuable to them. That shift is just happening now."

For more
Apple's App Store has added a steady stream of apps since it opened its doors, garnering no shortage of attention -- both positive and negative. Check out the following stories for a sampling of Light Reading Mobile's Apple App Store coverage.

  • Apple Slams Tablet Rivals as its Q1 Soars

  • Nokia Sues Apple in Europe

  • OS Watch: Developers Rally for Symbian

  • Apple Outdoes Itself with iPhone 4

  • Pyramid: Mobile Apps on the Upswing

  • Apple, Apps, Ads, Antitrust & Adobe

  • Jobs Defends App Screening

  • Navigating the App Store

  • Apple App Store Gets 12% Market Share

  • Apple's iPhone Privacy Headache

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile

About the Author(s)

Sarah Thomas

Director, Women in Comms

Sarah Thomas's love affair with communications began in 2003 when she bought her first cellphone, a pink RAZR, which she duly "bedazzled" with the help of superglue and her dad.

She joined the editorial staff at Light Reading in 2010 and has been covering mobile technologies ever since. Sarah got her start covering telecom in 2007 at Telephony, later Connected Planet, may it rest in peace. Her non-telecom work experience includes a brief foray into public relations at Fleishman-Hillard (her cussin' upset the clients) and a hodge-podge of internships, including spells at Ingram's (Kansas City's business magazine), American Spa magazine (where she was Chief Hot-Tub Correspondent), and the tweens' quiz bible, QuizFest, in NYC.

As Editorial Operations Director, a role she took on in January 2015, Sarah is responsible for the day-to-day management of the non-news content elements on Light Reading.

Sarah received her Bachelor's in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She lives in Chicago with her 3DTV, her iPad and a drawer full of smartphone cords.

Away from the world of telecom journalism, Sarah likes to dabble in monster truck racing, becoming part of Team Bigfoot in 2009.

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