iPhone app growth outpacing iTunes’ early days

It seems like only yesterday that we were talking about how quickly the App Store is growing. On August 11, we found the store to be doing quite well with over 60 million downloads and $30 million in total revenue, and that's only a month after opening its doors to an audience arguably filled mostly with iPhone enthusiasts and early adopters. The numbers look even better, however, if you compare the App Store's growth to that of the iTunes Store's first days as a legitimate but fledgling digital music outlet. HangZhou Night Net

As Roughly Drafted Magazine points out, what used to be the iTunes Music Store took two months to sell 25 million songs, and a full two years to sell 1 billion. Granted, digital distribution was a different industry back then, what with the unproven status of purchasing legitimate-but-DRMed music in a digital format from some "Apple" company.

Since August, however, App Store growth has more than doubled, as users have downloaded more than 100 million applications and raked in an estimated $70 million in revenue. Even if growth stopped today and remained flat for the next year, Jobs could very well still hit his prediction of a billion-dollar marketplace, and the App Store could give McDonalds a run for its money by hanging a "one billion sold!" sign much earlier than the iTunes Music Store did.

Of course, we'll have to wait and see how well the App Store holds up over time, as there have been a number of irksome problems plaguing it. Most of the general App Store headaches that both users and developers observed at the end of July are still present, and now Apple has gotten anti-competitive by denying an application at its final stage of development for "duplicating features in iTunes." (And let's not even talk about the fact that the denied app actually has oft-features that iTunes on the iPhone does not.)

The App Store does indeed have a tremendous amount of potential for both developers and Apple's bottom line, but we'll settle in with a big bowl of popcorn to watch how the drama unfolds.

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