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Commentary
4/24/2009
10:19 AM
Ed Hansberry
Ed Hansberry
Commentary
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One Billion Served

The iPhone App Store has served up its one billionth app. This is an impressive achievement in the eight to nine months the App Store has been open. The numbers though have certainly been bolstered by downloads of apps that do little more than give a giggle or a grin shortly after downloading, only to be deleted a few hours later, like the iPint (fake beer app) or iFart (self-explanatory).

The iPhone App Store has served up its one billionth app. This is an impressive achievement in the eight to nine months the App Store has been open. The numbers though have certainly been bolstered by downloads of apps that do little more than give a giggle or a grin shortly after downloading, only to be deleted a few hours later, like the iPint (fake beer app) or iFart (self-explanatory).The App store has turned the mobile application market on its head. Before that launched, the majority of apps for mobile platforms were through third party vendors like Handango. Those never really took off though as they sometimes charged users to redownload an app later with so-called download insurance. They also were sporadic on what apps could be downloaded directly to the phone or had to be downloaded to a PC where they were installed to the phone through a USB cable. If you wanted upgrades, you either had to use the application's own update checking mechanism or check the website periodically. There was nothing on the device to check all of your apps for you.

Now, platform makers like Microsoft, Nokia, Blackberry, Palm and even some device makers like Samsung have either launched or are preparing to launch their own mobile device application stores.

Not everything is rosy in the iPhone world though. As iPhone 3.0 continues through the beta cycle, potential buyers are holding off purchasing an iPhone. They are waiting to see what, if any, hardware improvements will be on the next iPhone. The good news for all iPhone users though is when 3.0 is released, they will be able to upgrade their existing iPhone, with only some features not working on older devices due to hardware limitations.

What new hardware features will show up in the next iPhone? No one knows. We don't even know if there will be a hardware refresh for the iPhone 3.0 software. The Register looked at some recent patent filings by Apple though and they offer some clues as to what might be there. Video mail, biometric security and a "self-resizing interface" are on the list of possibilities.

We'll know in a few months when the 3.0 software is ready to go as to whether or not a hardware update is in the works. My guess is there will be one, though it might not be as much of a leap and "must have" as the 2.0 3G iPhone was. In the mean time, go download a copy of Sonic Lighter or something equally inane and help Apple make it to two billion apps in another nine months.

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