Apple's iPhone App Store has broken all expectations, with the news last week that over 10,000 iPhone and iPod Touch applications have been added since its inception.
Highlighted by fan site 148Apps
– so named for the number of applications available on the store when the site was founded – Apple has managed to convince third-party developers to contribute to the store in staggering quantities, with an average of seventy new applications being added per day since the store launched 142 days ago.
To commemorate the achievement, the site has created a page
filled with teeny-tiny icons – each one of which represents a single program available from the App Store. Clicking on an icon will take you directly to the Store, where the software can be purchased and downloaded. It isn't until you actually see
what 10,000 applications looks like that you realise just how many developers must be out there looking to capitalise on what is still a niche market compared to existing mobile platforms such as Windows Mobile and Symbian.
Needless to say, there's a lot of poor quality software taking up a not inconsiderable percentage of the App Store's growth – although some of the more egregious examples are being pruned by Apple's quality control, including the infamous I Am Rich
application. That said, the fact that the platform was able to generate this level of interest in such a short time is a testament to Apple's strategy of making the tools required to program for the iPhone easily available – at least, so long as you've got a Mac.
With many developers looking to make a quick buck on iPhone applications, and the barrier to entry fairly low, I think it's not unreasonable to expect the store to break 20,000 apps within the next hundred days – which will make Apple particularly happy.
Have you found any must-have packages on the App Store, or is everything you need already available on Cydia? Share your thoughts over in the forums