Over the next week, the iTunes App Store is set to record its billionth download, an impressive milestone given that it launched less than a year ago. Granted the actual usage of most apps is spotty. To mark the event, I’m updating a few charts that I produced for previous posts.
Slightly over 35,000 apps have appeared in the U.S. app store. Over 31,000 were available in the last week alone, about 78% of which were PAID apps:
Following a sharp drop after the holiday season (12/21), there has been steady upward trend in new apps. Over the last 4 weeks, about 1,500 new apps launched weekly, 80% of which were PAID:
Measured in terms of number of unique apps Books remains the fastest-growing category: during the week ending 4/12/2009, 11% of the apps in the U.S. store were in the Books category. Books has surpassed the Utilities category and may soon overtake the Entertainment category. Over the past week, Kindle for iPhone was the top app in the Books category.
However, Games remain the largest category and 13 of the Top 20 all-time PAID apps are Games:
The mean price of an app on the TOP PAID APPS list has trended downward, but has settled at around $2.65 over the last month. [The equivalent graph for the MEDIAN price of TOP PAID apps is here: the median price has remained stable at $1.99 since late December.]
Users also rate individual apps with 1-star = the worst, and 5-stars = the best rating. Over the last four weeks, the average rating of the Top 100 Paid Apps was 3.5 stars, with some top-sellers garnering less than 2-star ratings:
In a previous post, I computed trends in the Incubation Period by category:
Individual apps also have release dates, which based on Apple’s recent changes to the app store, represents the date developers upload their apps to iTunes Connect. The period between the release date of an app and the date it first appears in iTunes is when Apple performs a series of undisclosed QA tests. Because it translates to a more favorable position when users sort by release date, most developers prefer this incubation period to be as short as possible.
Here is an updated version of the Incubation Period chart:
The incubation period declined in Nov/Dec (for most categories) but has increased slightly, in many categories, over the last 4 months.