Asymco recently published some telling graphs comparing the rise of iTunes song downloads to the ever increasing number of app downloads. While the comparison isn’t exactly fair given the abundance of free apps available for download, the charts below still tell an interesting story.
As can be seen, the App store has reached the same total downloads in 2.2 years as the iTMS reached after five years. The two curves are likely to be the same height (around 13 billion each) before the year is over.
While some might scoff at the idea of comparing paid music downloads to app downloads, of which many are free, the bottom line is that folks are buying into the iOS platform. Whether users are paying to buy-in or not, the fact remains that the iOS platform is continuing to take on greater significance and a larger foothold in an increasingly competitive marketplace.
To that end, Apple actually prefers free apps on iTunes. Much like music sales, Apple doesn’t really generate a profit on iTunes but more or less breaks even. That said, the more content people are downloading from iTunes the better. Whether or not it’s free is arguably irrelevant.
And another chart comparing daily download rates on iTunes.