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Saturday, April 25, 2009

Apple reaches 1 billion App Store downloads!

On April 24, 2009, Apple announced that its App Store had surpassed the one billionth download mark. It achieved this feat in just nine months. (Put another way, that's the amount of time between sex and birth.)

That's quite a milestone for an online-only store. Not only that, it also indicates the voracious downloading appetite of iPhone users. Just as the iTunes Store benefited iPod users in getting music legally and easily, the App Store has clearly been a boon for iPhone users to expand the usefulness of their device.

As a result, other device makers are rolling out their copycat stores. E.g. Microsoft supposedly has one in the works (presumably for a souped up Zune or ZunePhone) and Research in Motion has its store for Blackberry users. Palm is also probably getting into the game once it releases its Palm Pre.

On the other hand, history hasn't been kind to Apple Store copycats. Thought the iTunes Store has been a success from day one, other online stores, like MSN Music, MTV's venture, the revamped Napster, etc. have mostly failed or are on life support.

The way I see it, download stores are a natural evolution in the way we consume media and content on our portable devices. But the way Apple is doing it is clearly a revolution that few have managed to replicate successfully.

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