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The App Store Turns Five
By: Greg Dorn
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Steve Jobs was not the kind of man to admit he was wrong. On the contrary, his infamous “distorted reality field” caused him to clash with anyone who defied his intuition. He behaved in a childlike manner, throwing temper tantrums when colleagues questioned his genius. What he said went, and the man refused to relent.
So when the first iPhone debuted in the summer of 2007, Jobs made the decision to close the operating system to third-party apps. He believed this revolutionary product could rely on Apple’s roster of limited, built-in applications. If a company or website wanted real estate on an iPhone screen, they could simply build web-based apps. When the App Store came around a year later, the man who always got it right finally confessed he was wrong (he may have never spoken the words, but numbers never lie).
Overnight, the App Store changed the landscape of not only the iPhone, but also smartphones in general. The darling product of the Apple lineup immediately transformed into a tool capable of just about anything. Who today can imagine their iPhone without Foursquare, Instagram, or Flipboard? Waiting to get to your desktop to skim your Facebook news feed? Please.
Launching on July 10, 2008, it took the App Store only four days to reach 10 million downloads. By September 9, the worldwide number ballooned to 100 million. What started with 500 now holds over 850,000 in its roster. As we approach this five-year milestone, 50 billion apps have been downloaded, more than $10 billion has been paid to developers, and the App Store can be found in 155 countries. Somewhere, Steve Jobs is smiling.
But as we look to the future, one can’t help but notice the pace at which Android has reached similar numbers. App developers once turned to iOS as the go-to market to debut their product. However, as more Android devices flood the market and put more phones in people’s hands, developers may soon flock elsewhere. Will Apple’s App Store continue its impressive ascent, or will Android’s Google Play steal the crown? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

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About the Author
Greg Dorn is a blogger, writer, and obsessed with everything technology and social media. Greg is absolutely captivated with the recent advancements in mobile gadgets, making our world more seamlessly connected. You can learn more about him on his own blog here
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