Apple just dropped the official statistics on the iTunes App Store's first year in business, and they're astonishing, on all sorts of scales. Turns out over 1.5 billion apps have been downloaded by iPhone users across the world.
That's a pretty amazing number all by itself, and making a conservative assumption that the average app weighs in at 2 megabytes, that means Apple's pushed over 3,000 petabytes of data through its iTunes servers. But since Apple only announced the billionth app as downloaded back in April, it also looks like the pace of app downloading is climbing exponentially. This makes sense if you look at the exponential growth in available apps—the store now has over 65,000 and just a month ago Apple was saying 50,000.
Apple's also saying it's sold over 40 million iPhones or iPod touches that can use the apps in 77 countries, which equates to an average of 37.5 apps per unit. But of course those figures are due to skyrocket: The new iPhone 3G S has only gone on limited sale so far, and is due to hit a huge bunch of countries over the next couple of months. This will undoubtedly boost app sales even further, particularly if many consumers on a budget opt for the now much cheaper iPhone 3G. As the iPhone's popularity grows, then more and more developers are being attracted—they now number over 100,000. In turn, that's pushing app development, which is in turn pushing iPhone sales. It's the opposite of a vicious circle, and Apple must be sitting in the middle of it giggling at the financial implications of it all.
It also explains why Microsoft's desperate to jump on the app store bandwagon, why Verizon's toying with the idea, and Nokia, RIM, Palm, and Android all have stores too. But, in the light of these stats, it's clear: There's just one App Store to Rule Them All.