Apple has announced that its app store has hit the 40 billion downloads mark and interestingly, nearly 50 per cent or 20 billion of downloads happened in 2012. The company first launched its app store back in July 2008 and it reached the milestone of 25 billion downloads in March last year. Note that the 40 billion downloads are unique downloads, excluding re-downloads and updates.
According to the Cupertino company, Apple App Store now has 500 million-plus active accounts and it saw a record-breaking December (2012) with more than two billion downloads. The company's developer community has created over 7.75 lakh apps for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users worldwide and it claims to have paid the developers over $7 billion in revenue shares.
Some of the most successful products in 2012 included Imangi Studios' game Temple Run (downloaded more than 75 million times), and the freemium titles DragonVale and Clash of Clans from Backflip Studios and Supercell, respectively (brought in over $100 million combined).
Apple offers developers resources and tools for creating apps, and has an ecosystem/marketplace to ensure that customers can discover the same without the least hassle. The company also has monetisation options for developers including in-app purchase, subscriptions and advertising. As of now, its app store caters to customers across 155 countries and offers a wide range of apps in 23 categories including newspapers & magazines (Newsstand), games, business, news, sports, health & fitness and travel, among others.
The other big player in the apps sector is Google who had first announced Google Play store (earlier Android Market) back in August 2008 and made it available to users in October that year. Google Play store crossed the 25 billion downloads mark in September last year and at that time, was home to 6.75 lakh apps and games for the Android platform.
It will be interesting to see when Google Play store hits the 40 billion downloads milestone and going by the speed at which it is growing, it can be sooner than you expect.
(Edited by Sanghamitra Mandal)