Thursday, April 23, 2009

Another Fine Quarter

Yesterday, Apple announced another great quarter even in a tough economy. Although unit sales of Macs were down slightly, sales of both iPods and iPhone OS devices were up, and Apple called it "the best non-holiday quarter in Apple history".

One of the interesting tidbits of information that can be gleaned from the earnings report is the fact that there have now been 37 million iPhones and iPod Touches sold. Although there are probably some of those that aren't in service, the vast majority probably are still being used in some capacity.

So, yeah, the gold rush might be over (though I'm not entirely convinced about it), but it's still a hell of a market. To put that number in perspective, back in 2007, it was estimated that the installed base of Mac OS X computers was 22 million. Obviously that number is higher now - Apple sold 2.22 million Macs just in the past reporting quarter - but that means the potential market for iPhone applications today is considerably larger than the market for Mac programs was just two years ago.

The getting-rich-overnight stories may be coming to an end, but anyone who thinks the iPhone application market isn't still a great opportunity needs to have his or her head examined.

1 comment:

snakegriffin said...

As someone who's just entering the iPhone development "gold rush", I think there is still great opportunity for novel apps and ideas that are well-implemented. As long as Apple keeps adding functionality to the iPhone that is accessible to developers, there will always be neat and novel ideas being developed. I'd venture to guess that there will be a strong pattern of a "run" of new apps that follow new hardware, with a settling time in-between. However I do think that the early days of crAPPs (auto-dialers and celeb RSS readers and such) being profitable are coming to an end. I think it's still definitely an exciting time to be a developer!