Apple seems to have been caught off-guard by the success of its App Store. Launched around one year ago, the online store for iPhone and iPod touch applications recently topped 2 billion downloads. Now an iPhone investor says Apple would have been satisfied with a fraction of the current demand.
“We had no idea there would be 2 billion downloads by October,” Matt Murphy, a partner with Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, venture capitalists that helped fund the first iPhone developers, told the Financial Times.
That surprise was reflected in Apple’s earliest comments about the App Store. Apple CEO Steve Jobs announced the App Store as a “pretty cool” way to obtain applications for the iPhone and iPod touch. Today, iPhone users download 10 apps a day, the FT claims.
The App Store has become a way for Apple to stay ahead of its competition, already breathing down Cupertino’s neck with Android. Apple’s App Store is “miles ahead of rivals,” from Google, Microsoft and Nokia, analysts announced earlier this year. Indeed, as Apple was said to offer 100,000 apps we’ve reported Microsoft had 246 apps, while Palm had around 96 and Android had about 10,000 apps.
That 100,000 figure could triple in 2010, analysts say. “We predict at least 300,000 iPhone applications by the end of 2010,” wrote IDC analyst Frank Gens. The bulk of the new apps will come from business and consumer brands as computing shifts away from the PC toward mobile devices, Gens said.
Lastly, if Apple remains surprised by the App Store, for confirmation, they only need to look to one of “Best of 2009” developers, Tapulous. As we reported, the company CEO announced it is earning about $1 million per month on App Store sales.