Apple is on target to pass the 1 billion app downloads in the afternoon (GMT) of 23 April, according to research firm, mobileSQUARED. Presently, the company is experiencing average daily downloads of 5.1 million apps and requires another 38 million apps to reach 1 billion (as of yesterday). At this existing download rate that will take another six days.
At the start of December, Apple announced that it has passed the 200 million download mark. This was promptly followed by the announcement that it had reached 500 million downloads by 19 January.
It took Apple almost six months to reach its first 500 million app downloads and the following 500 million downloads (have taken) just 94 days, says Nick Lane, Chief rResearcher at mobileSQUARED. That equates to an improved average daily download figure of 2.98 million for the first 500 million to 5.32 million per day for the second 500 million downloads.
Research by mobileSQUARED has revealed that around 75% of apps downloaded are free. Of those apps that are paid for, price ranges from $0.99 - 999, with an average cost per download of around $2.20. On 23 April, the average number of paid-for downloads will reach 250 million, generating revenues of $550 million. Based on Apples 30-70 revenue share model, apps have generated an additional $165 million for Apple and $385 million for the developer and publisher community.
One of the major drawbacks of the App Store, however, is that it has a restricted market. Globally, the iPhone accounts for 0.4% of the total mobile market and around 2% in the UK. But consumer research by mobileSQUARED has revealed a growing awareness of the App Store concept among UK mobile citizens.
A survey of 1,000 UK consumers, conducted by Lightspeed Research for mobile SQUARED, revealed that 24.2% of respondents knew what an App Store was, with awareness higher among males (35.1%) than females (14.5%). 52% of respondents aged between 18-24 years knew what an App Store was, as did 45.1% of 25-34 year olds, 30% of 35-44 year olds, and 18% of 45-54 year olds. Whats more, this awareness correlates to Smartphone penetration in the UK.
When the phrase App Storewas swapped with one area housing content and Internet bookmarks, in total 45.8% of respondents said they would use this one area (ie app store), greatly exceeding the number of Smartphone users in the UK. Again, the concept is more appealing to males (48%) than females (43.8%). Whats more, the appeal of this one area also crosses demographic boundaries, with 68% of 18-24 year olds and 69% of 25-34 year olds expressing an interest, as well as almost 50% of respondents aged 35-54.
This demonstrates that the appeal of the app store is not, and should not be, restricted to just the high-end phone users, says Lane. There is a compelling case to ensure app stores achieve mass market distribution.
The mobile SQUARED sector report on the mobile applications market will be available from the end of April.