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iOS app downloads could overtake music by March

updated 11:00 pm EST, Sun January 16, 2011

Asymco says iPhone app downloads overtaking songs

App downloads on iOS are accelerating quickly enough that they could overtake music in just two months, Asymco estimated on Sunday. The App Store will reach the 10 billion mark in just 31 months, less than half the 67 months it took for 10 billion songs, and at its current rate should overtake iTunes sometime in March. The company's Horace Dediu noted that Apple was now not only recording 30 million app downloads per day but seeing that rate increase.

The near-exponential rate was coming both as the actual number of devices increased but as many established owners were downloading apps more often. Basing figures on estimates of ownership from iPod touch owners, he determined that a typical user had as many as 60 apps, or more than five times as many as they had just after the App Store launched in July 2008. Apps, unlike songs, were facing a "network effect" where an app owner would spread word and encourage others to download the title themselves, expanding growth in a way not normally encountered for songs.

"Apps overtaking digital music is a watershed event," Dediu said. "Apps are a new medium: they will impact all other media."

He added that the app ownership rate could be higher still as it assumed that all iPads, iPhones and iPods were still in use, which was impossible.

The popularity could work to Apple's advantage and prevent users from jumping ship to Android or other platforms, he said. Owning so many apps could create a "very tight lock" on an iOS device user as the cost of re-purchasing all the apps, where they exist, could be too expensive for most. The dependence could be more severe than for desktop platforms, since mobile app consumption could soon overtake the computer market, the analyst predicted.

Google has typically been quiet about its Android app download rate, but with roughly a third as many apps and a less app-centric platform is unlikely to see a similar effect in the near future. Other app portals are typically a tenth the size or less either through novelty or low device market share that in turn reduces interest in development.

by MacNN Staff



  1. facebook_Martin

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Jan 2011


    Android's spam and malware problem leaves it in th

    Google is further behind Apple than is obvious at first glance. 

    With 45,000 of Android's 100,000 apps being spamware and a further undetermined amount being ringtones, wallpapers, test apps, "hello world" apps, only 16 major game titles from the half dozen biggest mobile games publishers (vs 306 for iOS) and a growing malware problem in the Android Marketplace itself (50 bank phishing apps alone in recent times), Android finds itself lagging badly behind iOS.  


  1. chefpastry

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Music vs apps

    I don't always listen to music. Not a day passes without me using apps.

  1. jahbadaboo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Hmm it is achievement but...

    Alot of apps are free, and alot of music on itunes isnt.

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