Apple Reminds Google Who's Winning

Apple on Tuesday said that over 3 billion apps have been downloaded from Apple's iTunes Store.
Apple on Tuesday said that over 3 billion apps have been downloaded from Apple's iTunes Store.

"Three billion applications downloaded in less than 18 months-this is like nothing we've ever seen before," said Apple CEO Steve Jobs in a statement. "The revolutionary App Store offers iPhone and iPod touch users an experience unlike anything else available on other mobile devices, and we see no signs of the competition catching up anytime soon."Never mind that most of those apps are free, most get used once and forgotten, and a great many of them are not very compelling. That's still a lot of bits being moved.

The timing of the announcement is curious, to say the least: Google on Tuesday is holding a press conference to provide an update on the Android platform and to show off the Google-branded Nexus One phone.

Now perhaps Apple's app total happened to pass the 3 billion mark on Monday and Apple chose to make the announcement today without thinking about Google's plans.

But that doesn't seem particularly likely, given Jobs's specific mention of "the competition."

According to research firm ChangeWave, the competition is real. Some 21% of those planning to buy a smart phone in the next 90 days said in December that they'd prefer to have the Android OS on their new phone, an increase of 15 percentage points from September, the firm said on Monday.

Apple is worried about Google and would like to take this opportunity to remind you who's king of the hill.

For Further Reading

iSlate, Nexus One Kill Microsoft's 15 Minutes;

Site Claims To Have Full Apple 'iSlate' Specs;

Apple Tablet Success Riding On Touch-Panel Patents;

Apple iSlate Chatter Obscures Device Significance.

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James M. Connolly, Contributing Editor and Writer