Apple head Tim Cook yesterday used the company’s Worldwide Developers Conference to trumpet the latest figures for its App Store, stating that to date consumers have downloaded more than 30 billion apps. He said that the number is “mind boggling, and almost unthinkable not too long ago.”
According to Cook, the company has “written cheques for over US$5 billion” to developers, for products sold through the store. The iOS catalogue now has more than 650,000 apps, with 225,000 specifically targeting the iPad tablet – “that compares to just a few hundred for our [tablet] competition.”
Also highlighted was the seamless purchasing experience offered by the store. “We now have over 400 million accounts on the App Store. These are 400 million accounts with credit cards and one-click buying, so it’s simple and elegant to buy apps,” he continued.
Apple is set to increase the reach of the App Store in the coming months, launching in an additional 32 countries to take the total to 155.
At WWDC, Apple unveiled the next-generation of its iOS platform for mobile devices, iOS 6. Features of interest to developers include Smart App Banners, which can launch an app or provide a link to the App Store when a customer visits a related website; and Facebook integration, including the ability to “Like” App Store content.
Also available is an API for developers to link to Apple’s new Passbook app, which enables tickets and boarding cards to be collected in a single place.
Scott Forstall, the company’s senior VP of iOS Software, noted the relative lack of fragmentation between iOS and Android, with more than 80 percent of Apple device owners running the latest available version of the platform (iOS 5), compared with just 7 percent of Android device owners running the latest version of the Google OS – which was released at around the same time.
iOS 6 will launch “this fall,” and supported devices will include the iPhone 3GS and later versions, and iPad 2 and later versions. A beta release has been made available to developers.