Apple's App Store reaches 300m downloads

It's nice, but have you got one a bit smaller?
It's nice, but have you got one a bit smaller?

Either Apple has got its numbers mixed up, or the iPhone's App Store is proving more popular than almost everyone expected.

According to an Apple advert in the New York Times newspaper this morning, there have been over 300 million downloads from its online software store.

When Steve Jobs announced 200 million downloads at the end of October - just 100 days after the launch of the App Store - there was talk of the App bubble bursting once users had as many menstrual cycle monitors, dodgy game ports and GPS buddy finders as they needed.

Millions of downloads daily

Instead, enthusiasm for the pocket-money priced applications has increased, and the App Store is now serving around 2.5 million downloads every single day.

Market watchers Garnter said yesterday that sales figures for Q3 (July to September) showed Apple as having sold 4.7 million iPhones, which puts it in third place behind RIM's BlackBerry's (5.8 million) and runaway market leader Nokia with 15.5 million sales.

Apple's 300+ per cent growth rate, however, stands in start contrast to Nokia's 3.1 per cent sales slump compared to the same period last year.

All of which will only fuel those tempting rumours of a $99 4GB iPhone 3G, possibly arriving at Walmart stores as soon as December 28. Let's hope they're right - and that we'll see a similar cut in the gouging phone plans that AT&T currently charge in the US.

Mark Harris is Senior Research Director at Gartner.