The App Store will complete a decade of existence on July 10, and Apple is in a nostalgic mood. The company is looking back at the major milestones as the App Store grew from a place featuring just 500 apps to a global phenomenon.
“In its first decade, the App Store has surpassed all of our wildest expectations — from the innovative apps that developers have dreamed up, to the way customers have made apps part of their daily lives — and this is just the beginning. We could not be more proud of what developers have created and what the next 10 years have in store,” Apple SVP of Worldwide marketing, Phil Schiller was quoted in a press release.
The App Store was launched in 2008 featuring 500 apps. Today, there are over 1.3 million apps on the store, which also sees around 500 million weekly visitors. Over 20 million third-party developers registered on the App Store have also earned over $100 billion through the store.
Apple says that the first 500 apps ignited a “cultural, social, and economic phenomenon” among iOS users of all ages. Many of those apps, including including The New York Times, eBay, and Tap Tap Revenge among others, can still be downloaded today.
Apple also quotes developers of Temple Run on how the App Store changed their lives. “Our first game, Imangi, launched the day the App Store opened. Fast forward 10 years, and we’ve created over 10 games, including Temple Run, which has been downloaded over a BILLION times. Our studio has grown from the two of us to a team of 35. None of this would have been possible without the App Store,” Keith Shepherd and Natalia Luckyanova, founders of Imangi Studios said.
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Speaking of games, this is one category that has literally exploded over the years. “We launched Candy Crush Saga on the App Store over five years ago and it’s been hugely beneficial, allowing us to reach a brand new global audience. Our games have been played in all seven continents, including Antarctica! That shows just how influential and far-reaching the App Store has become,” Riccardo Zacconi, CEO of King, creators of Candy Crush said.
Gaming also changed how users paid for using the apps. Instead of one-time payment, many developers opted for in-app payments. This method allowed users to unlock special features in apps. Apple says today around 28,000 apps offer subscription options.
Apple has similarly touched upon other milestones like the introduction of the iPad with its bigger screen. Apart from being able to play games on bigger screens, iPads also led to Apple focusing on productivity and education apps. The launch of Apple Watch also saw fitness-related apps grow big-time. Today, the focus has shifted to Augmented Reality (AR). Apple is building a platform to not only create, but also experience AR through its App Store.