Feeds

Apple celebrates first year of App Store hijinks

Happy birthday, fartmonger!

The essential guide to IT transformation

One year ago Friday, Apple launched its iTunes App Store. And it's been one hell of a wild - if famously flatulent - ride ever since.

Love it or hate it, the iPhone has been a runaway success, and the App Store has been a major contributor to its inarguable megahit status.

In the beginning, the App Store's original 800 offerings resulted in over 10 million downloads in its first weekend of operation and achieved $500m (£310m) in sales during its first month.

By October, the Store had grown to 5,550 apps and 200 million downloads. In December its 10,000 apps grew that total to 300 million downloads, January saw 15,000 apps and 500 million downloads, and the one billion downloads mark was achieved this April, when the Store held 35,000 apps.

Now, on its first birthday, the App Store's collection easily exceeds 56,000 apps, according to Store-watcher 148apps. Add to that the over 4,000 apps that 148apps tags as "inactive" and we're talking over 60,000 apps written for the iPhone and iPod touch over the past year.

With those numbers in mind, you could be excused for thinking that it's been a year of smooth sailing for Apple's online megastore. But you'd be wrong.

The last 12 months have seen tiffs with developers, accusations of erratic censorship procedures, and torrents of fartware - one specimen of which led to a third-party legal stink.

Although Apple's iPhone Developer Program has enticed new devs to flock to the iPhone in record numbers, their path has not always been a smooth one.

First, Apple imposed an non-disclosure agreement on developers that prevented them from sharing info - including details of their rejection letters. After a suitable hue and cry in the blogosphere, Apple lifted the NDA in October.

Soon after that, however, another flap developed when Apple was accused of favoring a major developer - Google - over hoi polloi. Then there were delays in that many developers experienced in getting paid for their app sales.

One of the most frustrating hurdles that developers have had to, well, hurdle, has been Apple's difficult-to-comprehend censorship system, which has over the past year brought down - among many, many others - comics, mammaries, South Park, shaken babies, Jesus, and the reindeer-assisted murder of old women.

But there have been moments of levity as well. Who can forget, for example, the mother of all stupid iPhone apps, the notorious "I Am Rich," which simply displayed a glowing gemstone and which one unhappy iPhoney was reported to have actually purchased for its listed price of $999.99?

Then there was the bizarre dust-up between one developer and the Molson Coors Brewing Company, which the developer sued for $12.5m for allegedly stealing the idea for a faux-pint elbow-bending app.

And today, at the apex of the App Stores popularity, the sublime (e.g., Spirituality Quotes) continues to coexist with the ridiculous. A search for the word "fart" on the App Store, for example, now turns up 389 exemplars ranging from iFart Mobile - "The world's most popular digital fart machine!" - to Farting Choir - "The world's most popular Farting Choir!" - (App Store links).

What worries us about this proliferation of digital flatulence is that according to Freudian theory the "anal phase" of child development is usually understood to commence at around 18 months. Let's hope the one-year-old App Store is a precocious child.

But happy first birthday, App Store. You've grown big and strong, but you haven't yet found your moral compass or fully developed your sense of responsibility. Hopefully, that will come soon.

All things considered, though, it's been a very good year. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
Time Warner Cable customers SQUEAL as US network goes offline
A rude awakening: North Americans greeted with outage drama
Shoot-em-up: Sony Online Entertainment hit by 'large scale DDoS attack'
Games disrupted as firm struggles to control network
BT customers face broadband and landline price hikes
Poor punters won't be affected, telecoms giant claims
Netflix swallows yet another bitter pill, inks peering deal with TWC
Net neutrality crusader once again pays up for priority access
EE plonks 4G in UK Prime Minister's backyard
OK, his constituency. Brace yourself for EXTRA #selfies
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.