retail news in context, analysis with attitude

CNet reports that Apple is about to celebrate 50 billion downloads from its App Store, which was launched in 2008.

"The person who downloads the 50 billionth app gets $10,000 in App Store credit," the story says. "The company is also doling out $500 gift cards to the 50 people who buy an app immediately afterwards."
KC's View:
Here's the line from the story that is a real kicker:

"Apple's last big contest for the App Store was for the 25 billion benchmark last March."

So it took from 2008 to March 2012 to get to 25 billion downloads, and then about 14 months to double that to 50 billion downloads?

Yikes.

I actually found this acceleration to be so extraordinary that I double checked it. Forbes describes it this way:

"The crazy growth continues. The 10 billionth app download occurred in January 2011 and it took nearly 14 months for the App Store to reach 25 billion. From a rate of just over a billion a month during that span, most of 2012 saw close to 50 percent higher as 35 billion was reached in October of last year.

"Since then, though, things have gone into overdrive. Downloads are now happening at close to 2 1/2 billion per month. While some of that is a function of the 85 million iPhones and 43 million iPads sold in the past two quarters, it also suggests the average Apple device user is downloading more than ever. That helps explains why Apple users keep reporting in surveys the next device they are likely to buy is another one from Apple: They are locked in through their loyalty to a lot of apps."

Bingo.

Despite all the questions about Apple that seem to be raised these days, that's the key to the kingdom ... finding ways to create a system that keeps people locked in by constantly expanding it while at the same time keeping borders around it.