On Sunday July 13, Apple announced that 10,000,000 apps had been downloaded via the App Store. A little over a week later – on July 21st, 25 million apps have been downloaded.
Now there are 1,0001 apps in the directory – but there doesn’t seem to be major acceleration in the volume of new content being released. For instance, there were nearly 500 apps for iPhone’s debut… so the directory has doubled since the iPhone’s launch.
I expect that there will continue to be a lull in new apps as developers and development teams are hard at work pushing out new products (which is a relatively lengthy experience). I also suspect that Apple will streamline the process of approval and developer registration… I registered for an account five days ago and haven’t received a single confirmation / follow up.
So why is this important?
First, the iPhone offers an opportunity for businesses to acquire users en mass and/or define business models. For instance, Pandora had 350,000 app downloads in the iPhone’s first week – and that’s 350,000 users since you must register to use the service. In Pandora’s 18 month life-cycle, they’ve apparently hda 12,000 monthly subscribers through their other mobile offerings / platforms… but with Apple, Pandora has an opportunity to monetize the free app and their huge user-base with innovative advertising.
Second, mobile search is being redefined by the iPhone. Via VentureBeat (quickly becoming my go-to-morning read): “Google’s Sergey Brin says iPhone is pushing trend toward mobile search – During Google’s recent Q2 earnings conference call, Brin estimated that “on a rough order of magnitude” iPhone users do 30 times as many mobile web searches as users of other devices.”
The major question I have is how will Apple get involved directly in the mobile monetization chain. They have undisputedly defined and accelerated the mobile market… but they are currently missing a huge portion of the business by only being the dock and charging the directory fee. Every additional iPhone search is opportunity for Google, AdMob and the Pandoras of the world… and not for Apple.