Apple today announced that 2 billion Apps have been downloaded from its App store in just over a year. The App store has taken just 5 quarters to hit the same milestone that the music store took 14 quarters to reach (see chart below).
Granted we’re not comparing like for like here. Many (most?) of those App downloads will be free, and the iTunes platform is mature now, whilst it was nascent during the emergence of the music store. Indeed, the App Store’s success is built upon the prior success of the music store.
But even with those caveats aside, it is worth considering that whilst all iPods and iPhones support music store downloads, only 24 percent of all devices sold support Apps (i.e. the iPhone and the Touch). Put a different way, to date the total number of iTunes tracks per sold supported device is just over 39, whereas the total number of iTunes Apps per sold supported device is 40.
So in just over a year the App store has reached the same maturity of adoption among its addressable device audience as the music store took 6 years to reach.
This doesn’t mean that music downloads are dead: at 8.5 billion downloads to date Apple music store is more than 4 times as successful as the App store in absolute terms. But in the context of potential, momentum and addressable audience adoption, the App Store is setting the pace.