In a press release today, Apple has announced that their iOS App Store has reached a total of 15 billion downloads. The highly popular software and content delivery ecosystem opened on July 18, 2008 and, according to Apple, took nine months to reach its first billion downloads. Since then, things have accelerated. Last month at Apple's World Wide Developer's Conference, Jobs announced that the App Store had achieved 14 billion downloads. That means one billion downloads were reached in just a month's time. This makes the App Store the single most successful mobile software distribution environment to date.
And it's easy to see why. According to today's press release, the 15 billion downloads have been spread across 200 million iDevice users all across the world. That translates into 75 app downloads per user. At present, there are over 425,000 apps available for iOS devices in the App Store, with 100,000 of these specifically designed for the company's extremely successful iPad tablet. Compare that to iOS's biggest competitor Android's estimated 4.5 billion downloads as of May 2011 which is the most recent official figure available. Google claims that over 100 million Android devices have been activated meaning 52 apps have been downloaded per user. At present, it's estimated there are over 200,000 apps available in the Android Market.
It's clear that others have a lot of work to do if they want to catch up to these numbers. Android is the closest, but if the App Store's popularity keeps accelerating it may take years for Google to overtake Jobs & Co.
Image credit: Apple