App Store turns 3 years old

3 years ago today Apple launched the App Store. It was alongside iPhone 3G and MobileMe and while the former has been retired and the latter is soon to be replaced by iCloud, the App Store is still going strong. Phenomenally strong.

The App Store had XXX apps on day one. A year later it had over 56,000 that had been downloaded over 1 billion times. Last year it had over 225,000 apps -- 8500 iPad native -- and over 5 billion downloads As of last week we're over 425,000 apps -- 100,000 iPad native -- and over 15 billion downloads.

And it shows no signs of slowing down. The app approval process has gotten smoother for the most part, and we seldom hear outrageous rejection stories any more. They've added subscriptions and even removed some of the more contentious requirements for using them. And with iOS 5 scheduled for this fall, and perhaps a whole new set of devices to use it, we should have even better apps and games ahead of us. Who knows, maybe we'll even get Apple TV apps one day?

On the negative side, patent troll Lodsys has begun targeting some App Store developers, and while Apple has filed to intervene in the lawsuits, they've provided little reassurance for developers.

Still, the last year has been a bright one for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad users. And apparently, Apple is just getting started.

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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

App Store turns 3 years old


Terrible. The worst part was the absolute SH*T 2.0 firmware that would never boot up and cause you to have to restore everything. I never has any issues with MobileMe though.

They forgot to fill that in. I'm pretty sure it launched with 5,000 apps back then. I was pretty big into Apple then.

Android is not doing well. A lot of malware. Duplicate apps. Apps in multiple currencies (why should I care for "pounds" if I'm in america?) apps that disguise themselves as legit but are not. Just today I downloaded a news app that looked legit. Had a legit name, icon and screenshots looked legit but when downloaded the app was not what it said it was. I brought this up on an android forum and all the androidf users got offended and started to defend their little green robot. LOL pathetic
I like how Apple approves the apps and you do get better quality apps as well.
This road is rocky. A sprint iPhone will make it nice and smooth.

I agree. I remember back when the app store was originally released, there were hundreds of fart apps on there. But as Apple seemed to tighten it's ropes a little bit every so ofter, the app store improved with it.
Now Android's app store has improved greatly over it's original release, and yes since it is younger than Apple's App Store, it still has some catching up to do. But I think if you give Android's App Store another 6 months or so, I believe you will see it become much more like it's rival.

Dang u suck Palehorse. The p in pale should be capitalized and it should be two words not a compound. Get a life

425 000 apps and less than 100 actually worth paying for lol, maybe if Apple focused on quality not quantity there would be less reason to use installous lol

I'm referring to of course, apps like "Talking Justin Bieber" & "Mini Gay Boyfriend" lol

I hate these idiots that have to correct everybody. They're probably first grade English teachers. Why don't you tell someone who gives a shit aka NOBODY!!!!!