Happy Birthday, Dear App Store …

On July 10, 2009

iPhone App StoreOn Saturday July 11th, the iTunes App Store celebrates its first birthday with over a billion downloads and 55,000 distinct applications available.  This is quite an accomplishment since as a comparison, the only comparable competitor, Handango, has over 140,000 apps available, and currently had only 100 million downloads, and it took them 10 years to achieve that.

Obviously, the competitors are taking heed.  Google is offering their own app store for the Android and Microsoft certainly has something up their sleeve in that regard.  However, the App Store made installation simple and direct, utilitizing the iTunes delivery method that was already there.

Let’s be honest here: odds are that a hefty chunk of those billion downloads are for the free applications offered.  I’d be more curious about the level of income Apple is making from the App Store (and I’m certain it’s nothing to sneeze at). 

The question is: what else can the App Store do to improve itself?  It will likely change its layout time to time but the fundamentals will still be the same.  The only improvement I could think of would be to clear out applications that haven’t offered upgrades or the sales have stopped for a while (say, six months).  That would help the quantity of CRApp Apps decrease I would imagine.  But the App Store is young and Apple is nothing if not creative so I’m sure far more interesting things are down the pike.

Happy First Birthday, App Store.  Thanks to you, the world is changing about what they expect from their (dare i say it?) cell phones!  Here’s to many more years of innovation.