Apple's App Store Sees Another 500 Million DLs

Can you say "unprecedented growth?" We had to pick our jaws up off of the floor just 1.5 months ago when Apple announced that it had surpassed one billion downloads in its heralded (and oft copied) App Store, and now--just days after this very store celebrated its first birthday--the California-based company is dusting off the party hats once more.

Merely hours after the App Store turned 1, Apple announced that a whopping 1.5 billion App Store downloads had taken place. Let's do a little math here. It took around 11 months to notch 1 billion, and just 1.5 months to snag the next half billion. At this rate, Apple will double up that 1 billion in no time flat, and by the time the store turns 2, it'll be looking to 10 billion as if it's no big deal.

Currently, Apple's App Store has over 65,000 programs and over 100,000 developers in the iPhone Developer Program. And of course, the App Store serves just a single phone and a single market. Meanwhile, other outfits are toiling away in an attempt to mimic Apple's success, and while Apple certainly isn't the first company to introduce an App Store, it's definitely the first one to "get it right." Even Steve Jobs admitted that everyone else has a daunting task ahead of them, noting that "with 1.5 billion apps downloaded, it is going to be very hard for others to catch up."

If you're wondering how so many downloads happened in such a small amount of time, you have to look at Apple's expanding audience. When the original iPhone launched, it was only available to a relatively small group of people. Now, the iPhone family is available in some 77 countries around the globe, with a lot more people poking around in the App Store just to see what's interesting. Whatever the case, 1.5b downloads in just over a year is stunning, and we have a hard time believing any other app store will surpass it anytime soon.