Apple has just announced that overall App Store downloads have surpassed 40 billion since the storefront launched around four-and-a-half years ago. Interestingly, nearly 20 billion — or almost half of all downloads — occurred in 2012.
Apple also revealed that the App Store now has over 500 million active accounts; over 775,000 apps for iPhone, with 300,000 iPad-specific apps; and that it has paid out over seven billion dollars to developers.
“It has been an incredible year for the iOS developer community,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services. “Developers have made over seven billion dollars on the App Store, and we continue to invest in providing them with the best ecosystem so they can create the most innovative apps in the world.”
A number of game publishers and independent developers have found success on the App Store, including the husband and wife tandem behind Temple Run, which was downloaded more than 75 million times last year. Backflip Studios and Supercell, makers of freemium titles DragonVale and Clash of Clans, also had strong sales in 2012, while publishers like Electronic Arts, Ubisoft and Autodesk expanded their app lineups further.
“The success of our game Temple Run in 2012 was nothing short of astonishing,” said Keith Shepherd, co-founder of Imangi Studios. “We were simply looking to create a game that was fun and easy to play, but once it hit the App Store, the game took off. This past year, we saw more than 75 million downloads of Temple Run on iOS.”
One of the main selling points of the iPhone over Android smartphones is the vibrant App Store ecosystem that Apple provides. Many developers consider the iPhone as the de facto platform for developing their mobile apps, and Apple’s rigorous approval process means that less junk apps are added to the store. Google Play, however, has been making strides to catch up to the App Store.