Mobile
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1/17/2011
11:35 AM
Eric Ogren
Eric Ogren
Commentary
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iPhone, iPad Users Download ~60 Apps Each

Data compiled by Asymco indicates that the average iOS device user has downloaded more than 60 applications -- and the rate is accelerating.

Data compiled by Asymco indicates that the average iOS device user has downloaded more than 60 applications -- and the rate is accelerating.Apple customers are downloading applications at a faster rate than they do music, reports Asymco, a company that provides market intelligence. Apple's iTunes Music Store reached 10 billion downloads in September 2010, 67 months after it launched. As of today, the countdown timer on Apple's site says 9.865 billion apps have been downloaded. The number of apps downloaded should reach the 10 billion milepost in the coming weeks, perhaps by the end of the month.

The App Store will achieve in 31 months what it took the iTunes Music store 67 months to achieve.

Asymco's data shows a sharp hockey stick when it comes to app download growth. iOS device users are downloading so many apps, that the total number of apps downloaded may surpass the total number of songs downloaded by the close of the first quarter.

The report author, Horace Dediu, writes, "The amazing story ... is not that apps are running at above 30 million downloads per day, but that the figure is growing. Growth like this is hard to get one's mind around. Not only are downloads increasing, but the rate of increase is increasing."

In fall of 2008, most iOS device users had downloaded about 10 applications each. The App Store launched in July 2008. As of this month, iOS device users have downloaded an average of 61 apps each. This leads Asymco to draw several interesting conclusions:

  1. Apps overtaking digital music is a watershed event. Apps are a new medium: they will impact all other media.
  2. As the number of apps attached to any single device continues to increase, apps create increasingly higher switching costs for users.
  3. Apps consumption is increasing at a rate to overtake the PC software market.
I disagree a bit with the second conclusion. As a user of both Android and iOS devices, I find that I am able to take a brand new Android phone and download most of the core apps that I use on my iPhone (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) with no problem. App availability has never gotten in the way of switching form one device or platform to another.

Asymco doesn't differentiate between free and paid apps, however. App updates are not included in the overall download count.

In any event, the data clearly spells out the market opportunity for developers of every stripe. iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad users download apps, lots of them.

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