August 30, 2010: Just two years after opening its virtual doors, the iOS App Store passes a key milestone: one-quarter of a million apps for sale.
It’s a massive demonstration of success for a service Steve Jobs didn’t even initially want to offer.
App Store sales prove digital distribution is the future
The App Store’s success reminded anyone who was paying attention that the digital distribution model Apple pioneered with the iTunes Music Store was no fluke. Launched in 2003, iTunes became the biggest music vendor in the world by the middle of 2010, with a whopping 10 billion downloads sold.
The App Store was still in its infancy, though. Nonetheless, it was maturing quite quickly as a platform. Apple launched its “There’s an app for that” slogan the previous year. And a glance at the App Store’s sprawling selection showed a broad range of apps filling virtually every niche.
The number of accepted apps actually had climbed past 300,000 by this point, but roughly 50,000 were no longer available in the App Store.
And the success continues: In 2020, nearly 10 times as many apps are available. (The App Store now offers 2.2 million apps.)
The iOS App Store: Big enough to matter
In 2010, the App Store still represented a relatively small slice of Apple’s business. Although App Store sales by mid-2010 totaled $1.43 billion, Apple’s gross profit was “just” $189 million after costs were taken into consideration. (Apple took 30% of sales.)
Nonetheless, the App Store helped drive the sale of iPhones and iPads. Its success, even by this point, was certainly enough to change the mind of Jobs, who had been reluctant to open up the App Store to developers in its earliest days.
What was your first App Store download?
Do you remember when you downloaded your first app? Or what it was? Make sure to leave your comments below.