Apple of Our Eye – 200 million Downloads; 5,800 Apps

We’ve always been more fascinated with Apple than any other tech company.

More than Microsoft and even more than Google, Apple has so inveigled itself into our mindspace that we went and got ourselves an iPhone in July a few months after we purchased a $49 iPod.

Maybe because Apple CEO and co-founder Steve Jobs has been on the mountaintop as well as down on the valley floor (after he was ousted by John Sculley), Apple is a different breed of company today than it was in its earlier avatar.

Experience (and the scars they leave behind) matures a man. Well, at least most men (with the exceptions of dodos like Dubya)

Coming back to the present, no matter the economic downturn Apple’s business is going gangbusters.

In a little over three months, Apple customers have downloaded 200 million applications from Apple’s App Store. The apps can be played on both the iPhones and the iPod touch multimedia devices.

As Jobs crowed on Apple’s earnings call Tuesday:

Competitors are scrambling to copy our App Store but it’s not as easy as it looks and we are far along in creating the virtuous cycle of cool applications begetting more iPhone sales, thereby creating an even larger market which will attract even more iPhone software development. It is clear that customers are now attracted to iPhone not only for its amazing functionality and revolutionary multi-touch user interface but also for its unique ability to let users easily purchase, download, and use thousands of different applications, ranging from free games to financial planning and health management — all of this in only 102 days.

Although Google’s first Android-powered G1 phone has debuted to generally positive reviews, we remain skeptical that it will make much headway against the iPhone.

The story is the same with the iPods, the juggernaut of digital media devices.

Just look at the numbers. They tell the story better than any chronicler:

* In the latest quarter alone (ended September 27, 2008), Apple sold 6.892 million iPhones (compared to 1.119 million units in the same quarter a year ago).
* Apple has already sold 10 million iPhones in 2008 alone, two months ahead of target.
* In revenue terms, Apple is the third largest mobile phone company and ahead of RIM (Blackberry) in units this recent quarter.
* Over 11 million units of iPods were sold in Apple’s fiscal fourth quarter alone. How many units of the Zune player did Microsoft sell in its last quarter? Does anyone even care? It’s probably insignificant.
* Mac shipments were up 21% to 2.61 million units.
* Apple’s iTunes store has 65 million customer accounts and a music catalog of 8.5 million titles including Hindi, Tamil, Kannada and Telugu songs.

Apple is selling the iPhone in 51 countries and hopes to offer them in 70 countries by the end of this year.

So that should mean more iPhone sales leading to more app downloads leading to more applications for the device. Aha, there you have the virtuous cycle.

With $25 billion in the bank, Apple could even slash prices further hurting RIM and other vendors badly.

Apple remains the company to watch in the digital media space.

4 Responses to "Apple of Our Eye – 200 million Downloads; 5,800 Apps"

  1. shuaib68   October 23, 2008 at 2:55 am

    The new Iphone is in demand here in the UAE. There are few units available and are sold at blackmarket prices. 400-500% more than the original cost.

    The crazed guys from OZ, keep on changing the phones into whatever the new popular model that is to hit the market. For them, it’s a privilege to show off their new gadetry as a proof of their spending power.

    As for me, I’m like the komodo dragon waiting for a carcass. Yes, I can wait for a couple of months (12 months) to see prices dropping and then to make the purchase.

    Iphones are immortals it seems for it will take years to find a body lying in a second hand shop. Responds:

    The new iPhones are not that expensive in the U.S. now.

    In June 2007, the 8GB iPhone was selling for $600.

    Today, it’s $200 for the 8GB model and $300 for the $16GB version. But you do have to sign a 2-year contract and fork out at a minimum $70 per month for 450 anytime minutes/5000 nights & weekend min + unlimited Internet access. Text messaging is extra.

    Call quality on the new iPhone 3G is not that good (particularly while moving) even after the updates.

  2. shuaib68   October 23, 2008 at 3:45 am

    Hey, that’s wonderful prices.

    Here the 8GB is about DH. 2,850 (USD.900/-) – 3,000 (USD. 950/-)range. Now the prices are coming down it seems. Originally it went somewhere near 5,000 (USD.1,200)- 5,000 (USD. 1,500) when it just came into the market.

    But the black market was much higher as when the stocks went down. Responds:

    1. You write above: Hey, that’s wonderful prices.

    Keep in mind that in the U.S., cell phone companies like AT&T and Verizon subsidize phone prices because they lock you into a costly contract for 2 years that requires you to pick up a hefty tab every month. While the initial price seems low, the TCO (total cost of ownership) is higher in the U.S.

    2. You write: So, there’s still problems in the phone, right?

    Besides the so-so call quality, there are other issues like fast battery drain, lack of support for Flash and Java, limited 3G connectivity and few India-specific native iPhone 3G applications.

    Wireless Internet networks are common in most U.S. homes so watching YouTube in bed or checking stock quotes/reading news is not an issue with an iPhone…we are not sure how widespread wireless networks in homes are in your part of the world.

  3. shuaib68   October 23, 2008 at 4:58 am

    Here, the wireless is becoming widespread. The Internet coverage is fairly good and even the service (of the provider). Until recently, the telecom service sector was dominated by one company (Govt. owned) and it was a virtual monopoly.

    The charges were slightly higher than what we get in our home countries. But, in other way, with like free incoming calls unlimited, is really good. In Sri Lanka, incoming calls to all the mobile services is charged per minute basis.

    You know these companies nowadays always try to resort to earn thier bucks in different (Hidden) ways. They would advertise of providing some features to look free of charge. But, they have other ways to recover what they’re giving free. Responds:

    Are wireless networks in homes common?

  4. shuaib68   October 23, 2008 at 8:49 am

    Yes, it is. Not everybody and every household is having wireless. But it’s rapidly spreading.

    In our building about 20% is covered with wireless. I get about 8-10 wireless services in my laptop (Secured) excepting 02 lines.

    We have about 40 flats in the building. Responds:

    Thanks for the information.

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