The news came in the form of large print ads in the The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. The company said it also had more than 10,000 apps in the store. The company did not provide numbers on the percentage of free apps versus paid programs.
Companies like Handango have been offering smartphone users the opportunity to buy and add new applications for years, but the process could be somewhat cumbersome. Apple has been able to leverage its large user base with iTunes to create a simplified way for consumers to browse, buy, download, and install apps on their iPhone or iPod Touch with a few clicks.
Apple recently released its most-downloaded list, and it shows that App Store users are fond of games and entertainment. Programs like the Internet radio streaming app Pandora, Facebook, and Google Earth were also popular. While fun and games dominate the charts right now, as the iPhone 3G infiltrates more businesses the number of enterprise applications is expected to swell.
The success of the App Store has not gone unnoticed by Apple's rivals, and many have implemented similar stores. For Google's Android platform, the search giant has created the Android Market for distributing applications. Google is taking a less-restrictive approach to what can get in its store in an effort to lure developers who may feel Apple's control is heavy-handed.
Research In Motion will also launch an online mobile app storefront in March 2009 for its BlackBerry smartphones. With RIM's store, content creators will be able to keep 80% of the revenue from any app sold, an increase from the 70% Apple gives developers.