Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Apple Hits 1 Billion App Downloads; Newspapers Celebrate

Apple says its customers have downloaded one billion apps for the iPhone and iPod touch from its iTunes store.

You can learn about this milestone, which took nine months to achieve, a couple different ways: You can read one of many, many stories about it or you can visit Apple’s own promotional countdown page, which tracked the tally as it approached the one billion mark.

Or you can simply visit the homepages of big Web publishers like the New York Times (NYT), News Corp.’s (NWS) Wall Street Journal or CBS’s, all of which have once again handed over prime real estate to Apple (AAPL) for another intrusive/interesting ad that celebrates the event.

What the ads, or Apple, won’t tell you: the meaning of those downloads to Apple and its developers in terms of revenue, or even the mix of free downloads to paid downloads.

But Apple has been promoting the apps, quite successfully it seems, as a product line in and of themselves. And now the one billion milestone ensures that even more people will know about apps–either because Apple has paid for coverage or because it’s being provided for free by willing accomplices like… me.

In case you can’t get the ads to run on your screen (I was having trouble this morning, using Firefox), here are some screen grabs (click to enlarge):




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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik