After just over four and a half years, Apple’s iTunes App Store reached an unprecedented milestone yesterday when it registered its 25 billionth download. Yep, that’s billion with a ‘B’. Apple announced the achievement early on Saturday.
Over the past few weeks, Apple has been touting its 25 billion download app contest wherein the lucky person who downloads the 25 billionth app will receive a $10,000 gift card to use in the iTunes App Store. The winner hasn’t yet been named but will be made public within the next 10 days.
And highlighting the accelerated growth of the iTunes App Store, the iTunes App Store in its first 6 months registered 500 million downloads. Over the next 6 months, it registered over 1 billion more downloads. And since then, it’s skyrocketed to 25 billion downloads, a direct result of Apple’s ability to sell millions of iOS devices, from iPhones to iPods and iPads. During Apple’s most recent quarter, the company recorded record breaking sales for iOS devices, selling 37.04 million iPhones and 15.43 million iPads.
Say what you will about the increasing number of Android activations, but Google simply can’t compete with the iTunes App Store, and it’s therefore no surprise that developers still prefer iOS over Android.
Interestingly enough, Steve Jobs at first wasn’t keen on entering the mobile app business. Walter Isaacson relayed in Jobs’ biography that Jobs had to be convinced by executives and board members to open up the iPhone to third party developers.
Apple board member Art Levinson told Isaacson that he phoned Jobs “half a dozen times to lobby for the potential of the apps,” but, according to Isaacson, “Jobs at first quashed the discussion, partly because he felt his team did not have the bandwidth to figure out all the complexities that would be involved in policing third-party app developers.”
After months of prodding, Jobs finally relented and here we are, 25 billion downloads later.