Apple’s App Store celebrates five years of service this month. It’s hard to believe the App Store has only been around for five years. To commemorate five years of apps, games, and freebies, here are some surprising facts and figures about the App Store.
1. App Store Launched Alongside iPhone 3G in 2008
The App Store launched alongside Apple’s iPhone 3G way back in July of 2008. In an official press release that sounds quaint to today’s Apple fans, the company explained how their new-fangled App Store would work:
“iPhone 3G includes the new App Store, providing iPhone users with native applications in a variety of categories including games, business, news, sports, health, reference and travel. The App Store on iPhone works over cellular networks and Wi-Fi, which means it is accessible from just about anywhere, so you can purchase and download applications wirelessly and start using them instantly. Some applications are even free and the App Store notifies you when application updates are available.”
That press release was dated July 9, but the phone itself wasn’t in consumer’s hands until July 11. The App Store was available in 62 countries at launch.
2. App Store Has Had Over 75 Billion Downloads
Check out a blast from in the past in this video above, which highlights the Keynote where Steve Jobs announced the App Store.
According to Statista.com, over 75 billion apps and games have been downloaded from the App Store between the period of July 2008 and June 2014. Mashable notes that in 2013, the cumulative download total was about 50 billion, meaning the App Store downloads effectively increased by 50 percent in just one year. Mashable adds that there are about 1.2 million apps in the App Store.
3. The Mac App Store Didn’t Launch Until 2011
While the iOS App Store launched in 2008, it took a few more years for Apple to offer a version of the App Store for quickly buying and installing Mac Apps. After being released in early January of 2011, Apple announced that the App Store for Macs netted one million downloads in its first day of existence.
4. App Store Still Bans Certain Types of Apps
One thing that some Apple fans hate about the App Store is the number of limitations placed on app content. There are just some types of apps that Apple won’t allow in their app marketplace.
Over the years, apps with sexual content often have a difficult time getting approved (even if they just showed a bit of skin or swimsuit), and Apple also has a full ban on any apps about Steve Jobs. An app that tracks US drone strikes was famously rejected from the App Store five times before finally getting accepted some 18 months later.
5. Steve Jobs Wasn’t a Fan of the App Store
It might seem strange, but Steve Jobs reportedly was against the idea of an App Store at first. The Guardian writes that Jobs took issue with the idea of third-party developers creating apps for the iPhone:
“Walter Isaacson’s authorised biography of former Apple CEO Steve Jobs…explains that Jobs was initially unconvinced that apps would benefit Apple or its iOS platform.
‘When it first came out in early 2007, there were no apps you could buy from outside developers, and Jobs initially resisted allowing them,’ writes Isaacson. ‘He didn’t want outsiders to create applications for the iPhone that could mess it up, infect it with viruses, or pollute its integrity.'”
Good thing Jobs didn’t get his way. Businessweek reports that, in 2013 alone, iOS users spent $10 billion on app and game purchases on the App Store.