Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Apple’s Apps Flying Off the Virtual Shelves: 6.6 Million Downloads Per Day

apple-app-storeAnother milestone Apple is happy to brag about: The company says it has served up two billion apps for the iPhone and iPod touch from its iTunes store.

How do we put that in context? A couple different ways.

For starters, let’s note that the velocity of apps Apple (AAPL) is delivering is increasing: It took Steve Jobs and company a little more than a year to serve up the first 1.5 billion apps, which averages 4.1 million downloads per day. But Apple moved the next 500 million apps within 76 days. That’s a 6.6 million-per-day average.

Next, let’s acknowledge that while the money Apple makes from the app store is secondary to its core hardware business, it’s still a sizable amount.

Even if you assume that the majority of apps are downloaded for free, the remainder may still be generating sales of $200 million a month, mobile ad network AdMob guesstimates. Apple keeps 30 percent of that, which works out to be $720 million a year. Not bad for a side business.


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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