Jul 10, 2018

Apple's App Store is 10 years old

An iPhone user in China browses her home screen. Photo: Zhang Peng/LightRocket via Getty Images

Apple opened its App Store on July 10, 2008, with 500 apps.

Why it matters: The resulting explosion of phone apps — there are now more than 2 million for the iPhone alone — has changed daily life for billions of people around the world.

AP Tech Writer Michael Liedtke writes:

  • "At the time, mobile phones were largely a take-it-or-leave it proposition, with features programmed by their manufacturers and customization mostly limited to a choice between tinny electronic ringtones."
  • "During [the store's] first weekend, people downloaded 10 million apps — many of them games."
  • "Apple competitors Google, Amazon and Microsoft soon launched their own app stores. Together, these companies now offer roughly 7 million apps. Apple, meanwhile, has now sold more than a billion iPhones."

The big picture:

  • "Billions of dollars flowed into startups dependent on their apps, from Uber to Snapchat to Spotify to game makers like Angry Birds creator Rovio."
  • "Apple perhaps benefited most of all. Its 'free' apps usually display advertising or make money from subscriptions or other in-app purchases, while others charge users to download. Apple takes a cut of this action, sometimes as much as 30 percent."
  • "The app store is now the fasting growing part of Apple's business. ... The company says it has paid out more than $100 billion to developers during the past decade."

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